When a critically ill, 66-year-old woman had a medical emergency in the middle of the night, she picked up the phone and called for help – but not by dialing 911. Instead, she turned to the expert team of Accredo nurses who understand her condition better than any local first responder.
Denise Gnefkow, a registered nurse supervisor, answered the call from her office in Overland Park, Kansas. With instant access to the woman’s medical records, Gnefkow knew that she was taking a constant infusion of medication to treat her Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) – and that any interruption in the dose could cause lasting complications or a life-threatening emergency within hours.
Gnefkow calmed the woman’s panic. Step by step, she helped her through the complicated process of reprogramming a backup infusion pump that had been incorrectly set, and activating it to replace the regular pump that the woman accidentally had damaged at 2 a.m. while loading a dose of Remodulin medication. With the crisis resolved, Gnefkow ordered a new pump to be delivered to the woman’s door the next day, and gave her tips for better managing the devices.
Patients are given great peace of mind knowing that a nurse is available to help at any time with a simple phone call.
Specialized Care Available 24/7
Stories like these aren’t hard to find at the Accredo advanced therapies National Customer Support Center, where Gnefkow oversees a team of 17 nurses. They are available around the clock, 365 days a year, and answer about 160 calls every 24 hours.
Their patients are living with some of the most complex and damaging diseases, including bleeding disorders, Parkinson’s disease, conditions of the immune system, and a host of rare inherited disorders. Emergency responders and community hospitals often need the help of experts – such as Gnefkow’s team and other Accredo specialists – to deal with them. Their expertise helps primary caregivers avoid inadvertent, but potentially deadly, mistakes and gaps in care.
Accredo and Express Scripts members with these rare conditions typically are assigned a field nurse, located within 150 miles of their homes, who serve as primary resources and provide in-home care. They can train and educate local medical personnel and caregivers.
However, the National Customer Support Center nurses provide an invaluable backup when patients are traveling or in unfamiliar surroundings, when they’re alone, and in the wee hours of the night when they have an emergency or simply need reassurance.
The immediate access to an advanced therapy nurse frequently saves hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in supply or medication waste. It helps patients avoid emergency room visits, or 911 calls, and mistakes that can lead to lengthy hospitalizations or even worse results.
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