New film, “The Hearts of Nurses,” shares the story of how Regional One Health’s complex care program changes lives
Regional One Health’s ONE Health complex care program is part of the International Council of Nurses’ Caring with Courage online film series, which showcases nurses all over the world who are making a difference in their communities.
The film, produced for Regional One Health by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, highlights how ONE Health nurses and social workers help meet patients’ medical and social needs.
It is a new way of delivering care that not only positively impacts individual lives, but benefits the health care system and community as a whole.
Regional One Health’s ONE Health complex care program has helped create many powerful stories of patients whose lives were changed by a team of nurses and social workers who invest in addressing their medical and social needs.
Now, the ONE Health story is part the International Council of Nurses’ Caring with Courage online film series, which celebrates the incredible work of nurses around the world and their role in improving patient health and guiding development in the health care sector.
“The Hearts of Nurses,” produced for Regional One Health by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions, features ONE Health Director Megan Williams, Case Manager Ashley Eleby, RN, and patient Robert Money. Through Money’s experience, it shows how ONE Health supports patients who struggle with access to health care due to lack of insurance and other barriers.
Along with exploring the impact of nurses and highlighting their role in tackling the biggest challenges facing health care systems, Caring with Courage focuses on the complex contexts in which nurses work and showcases innovations and solutions that will shape the future of nursing.
In “The Hearts of Nurses,” ONE Health Director Megan Williams talks about how her team connects patients to medical care and to services that can meet needs like housing, food and transportation.
Susan Cooper, senior vice president and chief integration officer at Regional One Health, said ONE Health is a perfect example of how a new approach to delivering health care is helping ease a difficult, costly issue: fragmented care, often caused by lack of insurance, which leads to high utilization of the emergency department and more, longer inpatient stays.
“Caring with Courage features nurses from all over the world who are leading the way in making their communities healthier, and we are proud to highlight how our nurses are doing that in Memphis by building meaningful relationships with our most vulnerable populations,” Cooper said. “ONE Health works because we have a team of nurses and social workers who are able to meet patients where they are and address the needs that matter most to the patient.”
“The Hearts of Nurses” introduces viewers to Robert, who followed his father’s example by working hard his whole life. At age 5, he got a paper route to help his family pay bills. Once he was out on his own, he did sprinkler work for 28 years.
But without insurance, he couldn’t access regular primary care, and his health began to decline. His legs hurt so badly he was unable to work, and he eventually needed emergency surgery.
ONE Health connected him with Regional One Health providers to care for his acute and chronic health conditions, ensured access to prescription medications, and helped with transportation and clothing. Ultimately, Eleby helped him access the disability insurance benefits he qualified for so he could continue receiving the care he needs.
Robert’s story is an example of how ONE Health is designed to work.
“ONE Health works because we have a team of nurses and social workers who are able to meet patients where they are and address the needs that matter most to the patient,” said Susan Cooper, senior vice president and chief integration officer.
As Williams states in the film, the program was started after Regional One Health recognized an issue with high emergency department utilization, with a small group of patients accounting for a large percentage of visits and costs.
In Memphis, which has a 22 percent poverty rate compared to the national average of 12 percent, it was evidence of how social determinants of health impact individuals and the health care community. Some patients would come to the ED because it was the only place they could get medications for chronic conditions; or the only place they could find food or shelter.
ONE Health was created to “get to the root of why they’re coming,” as Williams states in the film, and it has done just that. In four years, the program has served over 700 patients and reduced ED visits, hospitalizations and length of stay.
As Eleby explains in “The Hearts of Nurses,” it is easy to feel empathy for patients and rewarding to help get their lives on track. “I grew up in this area. That’s my neighborhood; that’s my grandparents’ friends,” she said. “To do what we do and make an impact, it’s truly amazing.”
Learn more about ONE Health in “The Hearts of Nurses,” and explore Caring with Courage for more inspiring stories of ordinary people taking on extraordinary tasks. The series also highlights a Ugandan nurse on a mission to stop tuberculosis, nurses using artificial intelligence to care for mental health in Asia, a train that brings health care to rural South Africa, and midwives working towards a safer birthing experience for indigenous women in Mexico.