What if you had a nurse by your side to help you every day? Someone you could text for advice and guidance whenever you needed help with a health issue?
There’s an app for that.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) members have access to a nurse via an app to help them manage their health conditions. The app is offered to members free of charge and they can opt out at any time.
Here’s how it works: When a member downloads the app, he or she gets assigned a BCBSNE nurse health advocate. This individual will work with the member on his or her wellness and health goals.
“We’ve found that if a person builds a relationship over time with a health professional, they tend to do better,” said Lori Rewczuk, BCBSNE’s manager of Care Transitions and Health Coaching.
While the app and health advocate program is available to all BCBSNE members, its focus is on patients with chronic health issues and those who need continuous support, like diabetes patients and high-risk maternity cases. BCBSNE data shows the app has helped to reduce the need for medical services by giving patients the information they need to effectively manage their health conditions.
“By using the app, we can be more proactive to a member’s needs,” Rewczuk said. “And this leads to better ongoing communication.”
Rewczuk is excited about the ability of the app to allow the patient’s other health professionals join a conversation.
“Hand-offs from one health professional to another is one of the biggest problems in the health system,” Rewczuk said. “A patient may not follow up on suggested treatments and education. Or seek treatment from another professional who is not aware of their health issues, complicating the recovery process.”
The app, she said, provides the communication avenue to reach out and return the patient to his or her original advocate.
Signing up in the health advocate program is easy. Download the Wellframe app from the Apple App store or Google Play store. You will need to enter in your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska member ID. An access code is needed depending on your health condition. Go to nebraskablue.com for more information.