Charlotte Blanford and Theresa Sanders have joined UofL Physicians as nurse navigators. In this role, they will be instrumental in helping connect patients with primary care options.
They are contacting patients who visit a UofL Health Emergency Department (ED) four or more times a month to schedule them with a primary care clinic (or specialty clinic, if appropriate). The goals of their work are to help:
- Establish a primary care relationship with these patients
- Stabilize those conditions that may be causing the frequent ED visits
- Improve patient outcomes
- Reduce avoidable ED visits
Charlotte and Theresa will also be contacting patients prioritized for care because of high-risk diagnoses and who haven’t had an encounter during the past two years. Many patients haven’t followed up with their providers during the past year because of pandemic restrictions, so a large number of people are included in this category.
While it is still individual clinics’ responsibilities to maintain relationships with their patients, the nurse navigators’ centralized approach should partially relieve clinics’ team members from sifting for high-risk patients while fulfilling their daily obligations to care for arriving patients. As they schedule patients, they will include a note in Epic so clinics know where the contact and appointment originated.
Charlotte’s 34-year nursing career started after earning a nursing degree from Western Kentucky University. Her background includes CCU, ICU, medical-surgical, home health, home infusion, case management in home health and insurance utilization review.
Theresa has been a registered nurse for 28 years after receiving a nursing degree from the University of Kentucky. Her nursing background includes working in the newborn nursery with cross training in NICU. She has worked in orthopedics, ICU, CCU, medical-surgical, home health and long term care. She has served as a clinical manager, and as an assistant director of nursing and other leadership roles, as well as worked as a utilization review nurse and a case manager.