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“It’s why I went into healthcare.” — Kourtney Dunlap, RNP at Eastside Anchorage
At the core of every Vera Whole Health on-site clinic is a dedicated care team devoted to improving patient health. Made up of a provider, a whole health coach, and medical staff, these care teams ensure that every aspect of a patient’s care is coordinated to drive the best possible health outcomes. For Vera clinical teams, it’s an approach that’s radically different from their past medical field experience.
Before Kourtney came to work for Vera as a nurse practitioner, she would typically see up to 22 patients a day. “It’s not a good situation, but that’s the way they practice in most places. The more you see, the more you get paid. It’s all about quantity, not quality,” says Kourtney.
At Vera, Kourtney spends between 30 minutes to an hour with each patient. And, she sees them more frequently. In a traditional healthcare setting, patients often go months or years between visits to their primary care provider because it’s simply too expensive or too inconvenient. When the ultimate payoff for making an appointment is a mere 7-minute interaction — the national average — with your provider, many patients simply decide to go without.
At Vera, providers have the space to build meaningful relationships with their patients. Empathetic listening practices and added time allow them to dive deeper into patient problems to develop personalized care plans that acknowledge their goals and barriers to better health.
When Kourtney’s time with a patient is over, the Vera experience continues with an introduction to a health coach, like Heidi Beer. By building on the trust that Kourtney created during her appointment, Heidi is able to make quick connections with patients.
That trust is essential to empowering patients to work with their health coach. Together, they establish and achieve goals for better health. Outside of appointments, care teams collaborate to make sure that each patient’s care plan is suited to their needs. The result is a radically improved experience for patients. Heidi says, “They just feel listened to, heard, and acknowledged that they’re a human being working on these things. It enlivens them to make changes."
“A lot of times, at my other job, I’d only have time to tell my patients what they needed to do, but not having the time to explain why, or being able to support them in other ways like coaching,” notes Kourtney. “Allowing us time to really help the patient is the best part of Vera.”
Like patients, providers benefit from taking their time with each clinical experience. For providers like Kourtney, the added time means that they can feel satisfied with the care they’re able to provide their patients. When providers are given the resources they need to offer the best care possible, everyone benefits.
“Here at Vera, patients feel valued, they feel heard. I see that over and over again. It makes it easier for a coach if a provider has established that relationship. That trust has already been built and that communication has already been developed so it makes it really easy for the coach to continue with that follow-through. That, I think, is really missing in healthcare,” says Heidi.
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Stay current on healthcare industry developments, Vera updates, in-depth resources, and interviews with Vera providers