Emily Heller, nurse practitioner
Michael Nnadi, Senior Vice President/Chief Pharmacy Officer, Harris Health System
The world became our community during this past year in response to the extraordinary needs of our teams and patients. Gifts of all kinds poured in, from the handmade baby blankets, stuffed animals and personal care items our donors are famous for to the more recent landslide of iPads, personal protective gear, medical supplies and support from friends and neighbors around the world.
When Harris Health began our prescription home delivery service, it averaged 2,000 deliveries a month. The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 prompted the pharmacy team to expand the service. Within weeks, working weekends and overtime, this determined team was making more than 100,000 home medication deliveries a month, with a return rate of less than 1%.
When a patient at one of our health centers shows worrisome signs of COVID-19, Harris Health nurse navigators reach out to them at home to check in and provide virtual care and quarantine instructions for 14 days. Depending on a patient’s risk factor, the nurses call from three times a week to twice a day and facilitate next steps as necessary, from scheduling telehealth doctor visits to recommending a trip to the hospital.