Chronically ill patients in many parts of the U.S. face myriad complex challenges when it comes to coordinating their own health. About a month ago my colleague and I traveled to Anchorage, Alaska to meet with some of our more remote customers up north (we didn’t meet any moose this time). I had heard and read great things about the work that was happening with Alaska Innovative Medicine (AIM), which uses pMD’s care coordination and secure messaging tools to manage many of the chronically ill patients in the region. However, it’s one thing to read about the impactful and forward-thinking work that AIM is doing with the patient community in Anchorage, but quite another to experience it first-hand.
AIM partners with local primary care providers, specialists, case managers, social workers, home care nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and others that are involved in a patient’s care. Their goal is to improve patient care and lower health care costs by preventing hospital readmissions, preventable ER visits, and reducing hospital stays. We had the opportunity to sit in on one of AIM’s meetings as they discussed the work they are doing with some of the other caregivers in the community.
The AIM team explained how they help patients manage their care when they are discharged from acute care facilities so they don’t have to manage their health on their own. They help patients with diagnosis education, interpreting hospital discharge instructions, medication education and reconciliation, connecting patients with additional caregivers, and integrating personal goals into health care plans. The AIM team acts as a safety net to fall back on if something isn’t working with a patient’s care.
Navigating the health care system is difficult to begin with, especially when a patient isn’t feeling well. And patients can feel very alone after they go home and try to manage their care themselves. A few patients who work with the AIM team were quoted as saying, “It helps when somebody cares” and “I now have someone to call when I need help. Thank you for not giving up on me.”
It was encouraging to see how AIM is reconnecting a fragmented health care system piece by piece. They are engaging and empowering patients, building up patient support systems to provide more successful health outcomes, and creating a more cohesive provider communication channel. pMD is excited to be partnered with AIM to improve the health care experience for Alaskans!