Carepath Team Corner with Vanessa AndrewsTaking the time

Do you feel like you need more time to talk with someone who can help you better understand your health issues? Perhaps you need help in asking the right questions, or understanding your treatment options.

Carepath’s highly trained nurse case managers give you as much time as you need in whatever way you need. They can empower you with information, constant guidance and support throughout your healthcare journey.

Take Vanessa Andrews.

Before becoming a nurse case manager, and director of Carepath’s Elder Care and Chronic Disease Programs, Vanessa began her career as a registered nurse in emergency medicine. In that role, she only had 90 seconds to determine if a person was sick or not. In contrast, it’s the ability to spend as much time with her clients as she needs that Vanessa finds the most rewarding aspect of her role at Carepath.

Vanessa’s list of credentials is long: As a nurse practitioner, her scope of practice as a physician’s. Vanessa has a specialty in primary health care, as well as a subspecialty in geriatric and palliative care. She is certified through the Canadian Nurses Association for gerontology, and has a subspecialty from Laurentian University as a nurse practitioner in primary health care.

Vanessa has always loved spending time with clients. “To me, the reason why my clients have come to Carepath is one piece of a bigger puzzle. I can accommodate what my clients need, whether that’s education or coaching or helping them understand a treatment. I like that I can spend as much time as I need to with them, and can give them additional guidance without the pressure of having other patients in a waiting room,” she says.

Filling in the gaps

Educating clients to fill in gaps is also a big part of what Vanessa and her team of nurses provide. When clients go see their doctor, they may only get 15 minutes with them. Statistically, clients only remember 50% of what they’re told per office visit. “We can elaborate on whatever the condition is and really walk clients through the diagnosis,” says Vanessa, adding that she can then back it up with evidence-based materials that she sends to clients as an additional reference.

Vanessa also prepares her clients for their visits with healthcare providers. “If a client is unsure of how to approach an initial or follow-up visit, I talk with them and then provide them with some questions to take to their primary care provider that would explore their concerns,” she says.

Vanessa says that filling gaps with continuity of care is also critical to client safety.  When clients start a navigation with Carepath, they connect with one nurse case manager who stays with them for the entire journey.

But Carepath takes it one step further. “If a client has completed a navigation and they reach back out to us again, we always do our best to get them back with the original nurse case manager,” says Vanessa. It enhances client satisfaction; more importantly, continuity in care leads to better health outcomes and safety.

“I’m passionate about primary health care and, in particular, community health,” says Vanessa. “From that perspective, I think we provide a valuable service in filling in the gaps.”