When you think of nursing you think of life-saving medicine in the emergency room. You may also think of the nurses you see on the hospital floor providing exceptional services to patients in hospital rooms, but nurses come in all forms and job roles and sometimes it is the ones behind the scenes that make the most difference. Meghan has been an inspiration since the day I first started here at Clemmons Medical Center. As a new employee to Clemmons, she took the time to explain the beginning of Clemmons as an emergency department and how over the years it is now a thriving 36-bed hospital for acute care and selective orthopedic surgeries. Her role has changed as the hospital has expanded.
She is now the Nurse Navigator for bundle patients receiving selective orthopedic surgery. Her role is vital in ensuring that each patient has all the tools necessary to ensure a successful outcome. This includes making sure a patient's home is safe and accommodating post-surgery, relieving the stress of finding therapy outside of the hospital after surgery and even the small tasks of transportation to and from the hospital. Her job relieves the stress of patients having to figure everything out on their own, especially when you may be the caretaker of others.
Her story as a Nurse Navigator is one that embodies Novant Health's mission statement, "To improve the health of our community, one patient at a time." Meghan has consistently gone above and beyond her role as a navigator to ensure each patient has their specific needs met.
One story that comes to mind is when a single father, who cares for a special needs son, was unable to have surgery because he could not afford a caretaker while he would be placed in outpatient therapy. Using Novant Health's vision she reached out to the outpatient facility and through a series of discussions was able to get placement for the son and father during his recovery period. She delivers on Novant's values of compassion for those in her community.
Meghan is bold and courageous in her role. As a new Nurse Navigator, she experienced processes that were not always in the best interest of the patient. It meant as a nurse new to the navigator role she would need to speak up on conference calls and spotlight weak processes that required change for better patient management. Teamwork is important in partnering with the right facilities to ensure the best patient outcomes. Through good communication and teamwork, she has created a network of outpatient therapy centers who provide the best patient care. She has been able to decrease the length of stay in these facilities from an average of 36 days to 12 days, getting people back home and in their daily routine quicker than previous years. Through her courage to speak up and make better planning, she has saved Novant Health from paying out over $650,000 a quarter to Medicare during her first year alone. This past quarter Medicare has written Novant Health a check. Decreasing length of stay in a skilled nursing facility not only saves Novant Health but also saves money for the patient.
Meghan's dedication to the community around her is why she is a true DAISY Nurse. She is the backbone necessary for streamlined patient care for elective orthopedic surgeries. She is truly extraordinary, and I am grateful to know her and be inspired by her exceptional compassion for every person, every time.