Start-up of the Month: Healthcare Coordinates, LLC

One of the fastest growing health care fields is patient advocacy and medical care coordination. With that in mind, MaryPat Randall and Evelyn Richardson founded Healthcare Coordinates, LLC. The business uses skills culled from their combined 65 years in the medical field and aims to simplify and personalize the struggles and challenges faced in today's ever-evolving medical landscape.

Diagnosis

Evelyn and I came to the realization at about the same time that there was a sizable gap between patients and caregivers. Specialization and small windows of time can leave doctors distanced from their patients, particularly when a single patient is being treated for a multitude of ailments. It's become vital to either have or become your own patient advocate.

In December 2009, we decided to form a company that would help to address these concerns through approachable, knowledgeable and comprehensive means. Our goal is to empower patients, families, agencies and providers to find their own paths through the system and to creatively solve health care dilemmas in northwest Michigan.

In Practice

The decision to work together came with the awareness that one person alone could not handle all the details necessary to make our shared dream a success. Our partnership is bolstered by both the compatibility of our professional backgrounds and the complimentary nature of our working styles. Between the two of us, we run the gamut from child and adult health to senior care.

I bring over 35 years of experience as a registered nurse and advocate and a Master's degree as an independent RN Patient Advocate. I'm the former executive director of the Registered Nurses Association in Michigan and served as adjunct faculty for the University of Michigan, School of Nursing in Traverse City. I currently serve on the Grand Traverse Human Services and Pavilions Nursing Home Boards and on Michigan's health care-quality improvement organization, the MPRO Board.

My business partner, Evelyn Richardson, holds RN and BSN degrees and is an adult and geriatric RN Patient Advocate. Her 30 years of experience as a registered nurse includes medical-surgical, public health, home health and clinical quality assurance work. Evelyn is the former Care Manager for the elderly and disabled and Care Connections Supervisor for the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan. She currently serves as President of the Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation Board.

Evelyn excels at management and research and, along with LA Design in Traverse City, is responsible for the look and tone of our marketing materials. I bring innovation and puzzle-solving skills to the table-I often feel like "Nancy Drew" dealing with the complexities of medical charts while making sure all patient needs are being met. To say it's a daunting proposal is an understatement but we are both committed to the process.

Cure

At the heart of what we do is the belief that registered nurses are the best professionals to understand the intentions of both patient and provider– to explain recommendations, collaborate for the best plan, coordinate care and advocate for the patient and their family. Many patients see more than one doctor who often can be unaware of the treatment of the other. One doctor's goals may not only differ from that of the other doctor but can also be different from that of the patient.

Too often, complimentary care exists but is either not noticed or not applied. This is where Healthcare Coordinates comes into play. We aim to bring all threads together and develop a plan of action that will serve the ultimate goal: Letting patients make informed choices and addressing their right to quality, coordinated, effective, affordable and appropriate care. Your healthcare decisions need to be made with you not for you.

Continued Care

We have the added benefit of being able to work with patients in their homes and with their families. As a healthcare advocate, you are able to better see how treatment programs are affecting your patients when you can view them in their day-to-day lives, doing their regular activities. We take them out from under the microscope of a doctor's appointment and get a more comprehensive view, which is invaluable to creating a proper approach to medical care and follow-up.

Family interaction is also an essential tool. Our medical problems affect those around us. Family members have needs and viewpoints that must be addressed. Often they are on the front lines of care and can have better insight into a patient's well-being than that of a health care professional.

Professional Help

Our focus at Healthcare Coordinates, LLC extends beyond the concerns of patients and families. We also counsel health care agencies and practitioners. We help agencies enhance or change the services they provide by researching and/or designing systems that allow them to work more efficiently.

We work directly with health care providers or community members in need of training on advocacy, specific health care topics, nursing care and new industry regulations. The goal of this multi-faceted approach is to solve health care dilemmas in northwest Michigan in a creative and collaborative manner.

Learn More

Phone: MaryPat Randall: 231.590.8624 or Evelyn Richardson: 231.632.5106. Email: healthcarecoordinates@gmail.com Online: healthcarecoordinates.blogspot.com

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