We recently sat down with Sammy M., Lead Advanced Practice Provider in Houston, Texas, to learn about his background, what attracted him to DispatchHealth, what his job entails, and why DispatchHealth is a great option for patients across the country. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What was your educational and professional background before starting at DispatchHealth?
A: I’ve been in the medical field for over 20 years, starting as a paramedic back in 1997. I did EMS and fire service for 20+ years to achieve the rank of captain, then I got my nursing degree and ended up working in the ER. I knew I wanted to be the one making decisions and providing better care for patients. So, I decided to get my bachelor’s degree and went to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner, then landed a job in pediatric primary care.
I wanted to get into urgent care, and when I saw this position for DispatchHealth, it seemed too good to be true. I got hired in the summer of 2019 and absolutely loved it. The company grew, and when my local Lead Provider got promoted to Regional Manager in Texas, I applied for the position and accepted an offer around May 2021.
Q: Why did you want to work at DispatchHealth?
A: It seemed like we were going to be changing healthcare and making a huge impact in the healthcare system. Going back to my background in EMS, I was used to sitting in the hospital and waiting for two, three hours to get my patient help because the ER was slammed. Working as a nurse in the ER, I dealt with the same thing. So, it seemed that we could make an impact in the healthcare system and keep more people out of the ER.
Q: What are some of your responsibilities as a Lead Advanced Practice Provider at DispatchHealth?
A: Every day is different. As the Lead Provider, I oversee the Advanced Practice Providers in the Houston market. I make sure they have what they need and that we’re meeting the patients’ needs. I stay in regular communication with my staff, and they know that they can always reach out to me.
My goal as Lead Provider is to make my boss and my staff’s jobs job easier. We’re partners, and we help each other out and support each other. That’s the main part of my job, but like the other providers, I still go out and see patients and work shifts, as well.
Q: How do DispatchHealth’s providers build trust with their patients?
A: By treating patients like family. We’re face-to-face with the patient the whole time, which is very different from going to a doctor’s office or going to the ER. We’re sitting there with the patient at their dining table or in their living room, and we make conversation. We look at their pictures and ask questions about their past, their family, their hobbies. We absolutely love to do that.
Q: How does DispatchHealth make a difference in patients’ lives?
A: We’re improving the healthcare system as a whole, and we’re helping divert non-emergency cases from the ER, which saves patients time and money while keeping them comfortable at home.
There are also patients that are bed-bound or don’t have a way to get medical attention, and we’re filling that gap. Additionally, we see patients that have a simple complaint but can’t get a doctor’s appointment for two weeks because the schedule is packed.
Q: What sets DispatchHealth apart from other providers?
A: It’s that one-on-one time that we have with every patient. Coming from the ER, where I’d see 30 patients in an eight-hour shift, you feel rushed. Here, it’s not like that. We have a target time of 40 minutes per patient, so we can establish trust and build a relationship.
Q: What do you like best about working at DispatchHealth?
A: The team atmosphere. Pre-COVID, we used to try to do a once-a-month gathering because it’s important, as colleagues, to get together outside of work. When we interview staff, we’re not just looking for a good clinician. We’re looking for somebody who’s a good team player and will fit our culture, as well as being able to provide top-quality care to our patients.
Q: What would you like potential patients to know about DispatchHealth?
A: I would let them know that they’re going to receive excellent care and that all of our providers are great. I’ve also told patients that I’ve used DispatchHealth for my own family and recommended it to friends. I tell them that once we take care of them, or once their family uses us, they’re going to refer us to their friends and family, as well. Everybody is happy with the service that we provide to them, and it’s a great experience.
DispatchHealth helps reduce avoidable ER visits, a hospital admission or a skilled nursing facility stay by delivering high-acuity and cost-effective medical care to patients in their homes. DispatchHealth provides patient-centered care with an integrated delivery model and works in conjunction with health systems, payers, employers, senior living, provider groups and Emergency Medical Services. DispatchHealth’s current service lines include EMS (911 alternative), Acute Care (ER alternative), Bridge Care (readmission alternative), Advanced Care (hospital alternative), Extended Care (nursing facility alternative) and Clinic Without Walls (telehealth alternative).
Patients can also contact DispatchHealth directly via phone, app or website. DispatchHealth is partnered with most major insurance companies.