December Travel: What Do You Do When Your Patient Gets Temporarily Mobile?
For several months every winter, 66-year old Phuong* visits family and friends in her homeland of Vietnam. This year, however, Phuong, a US citizen, tested positive for tuberculosis in her lungs and spine, requiring a 12-month treatment regimen.
It’s December -- the height of the travel season. Many of our patients become temporary migrants, traveling for several weeks to visit family in another part of the US or in their country of origin. Patients may need extra care at their pre-trip appointment: will their prescription run out while they are away? What health concerns might they encounter due to their travel? Do they need a vaccine booster? For some patients, however, the concerns will be even more complicated. How can they continue their directly observed treatment for TB? Is there a clinic near their new location? What if their illness takes a turn for the worse?
Health Network, Migrant Clinicians Network’s bridge case management, assures that movement is not a barrier to care. Health Network serves all patients who are moving, whether a patient is just visiting mom for two weeks over Christmas, relocating in the midst of a health crisis to a new country, or moving every three weeks to a different county for work over the harvest season. And we accept patients with any ongoing health concern: a woman who is moving a few counties over before her cervical cancer screening is completed, or a truck driver with TB who is on the road most of the year, or a patient with diabetes who is leaving the country. Phuong’s case, which we published in the Fall 2017 issue of Streamline, our clinical publication, demonstrates the dedication that Health Network Associates have for our mobile patients. Despite Phuong’s travel to a rural location, Olivia Hayes, Health Network Associate, was able to help her continue treatment and assure the enrolling clinic had verifiable records to assure treatment completion.
We offer Streamline both in-print and online. The fall issue included important articles like how health centers can effectively tackle TB in the US through LTBI screenings and how to talk about pesticide exposure and risk with our patients. Check out the full case study on our Streamline page. And be sure to read all the articles in our current issue!
Learn more about Health Network, watch a short video on the benefits, download enrollment forms in four languages, and schedule a training to get started: http://www.migrantclinician.org/services/network.html.
*All names, dates, and locations have been altered to protect the patient’s identity.
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