Maranda Lewis began working at JRMC as a discharge surveyor — but six years later, her job has evolved into so much more.
In Maranda’s position as discharge surveyor, her job was to call all of JRMC’s discharged patients to see how their stay went and walk them through a survey.
In what could have been short phone calls, Maranda chose to, in a sense, hold patients’ hands and lead them through the going-home process, which is a job she said she adored.
Maranda recounted a call with a patient who was looking everywhere for Dr. Pickles. This physician was nowhere to be found, and it had been a day of searching. Happily laughing, Maranda pointed out that there is no Dr. Pickles on staff, but there is, in fact, Dr. Kenneth Dill.
This example is, at best, a funny misunderstanding. At worst, situations like this could become real health crisis for patients such as this who need help after leaving the hospital, which is why, Maranda said, JRMC’s discharge program helps patients.
Maranda went over patients’ discharge instructions, asked how their stay was and — most of all — listened. “I wanted to hear their side of the story,” she said. “If patients had complaints about their stay, I found out what we could do to prevent that situation from happening again.”
As discharge surveyor, Maranda heard it day in and day out; JRMC patients were surprised. “They thought they would have to go to Little Rock to get this level of care,” she said— patients consistently noted that JRMC exceeded their expectations.
Maranda’s first job in JRMC’s Quality Department is still dear to her heart. “The position was created with something else in mind,” she said. “But I think it turned into a really great opportunity for the hospital and for the patients, and I was fortunate to be stuck in the middle.”
Maranda is now JRMC’s first Care Transition Coordinator. Many aspects of her new job have remained the same, but now she is able to care for many JRMC patients before they ever leave the hospital, rather than calling them once they get home. She speaks with patients who have been admitted into JRMC multiple times and those who might need extra help transitioning from their stay in the hospital to their life at home.
Maranda said it is her goal to find out if these readmissions are preventable. “We want to find out if something is going on in the gap,” she said. “We want to help our patients get home and prevent patient readmissions.”
When returning home, Maranda said some patients run into problems such as not being able to pick up their medicine, not having transportation to follow-up doctor appointments or realizing they don’t have enough money to cover their prescription. In such cases, “I find out what they need and I use the resources that we have available to us to help solve their needs,” Maranda said.
Maranda said this role has taught her so much about the resources available in our community, because when a patient needs help, she searches until she finds a solution.
Her ultimate goal is to get patients what they need and continue to care for them, because even though they are going home they are still JRMC patients. “It’s just another aspect of JRMC’s commitment to a healthy community,” she said. “It shows our commitment to our patient’s long-term health.”
Maranda said the best thing about JRMC is that the hospital is right here at home and gives the highest quality care. She said despite being the only major referral center in JRMC’s 11-county service area, JRMC is thankful for each and every patient that comes through our doors.
Even with a full-time job, Maranda has been continuing her education and pursuing a master’s degree. In one of her classes, they asked her to create a five-year plan detailing her dream job and how she would go about getting it. “This is the job I described I wanted,” she said. “It was part of my five-year plan, and I had it within a few months.”
“Some days, you wonder if you make an impact,” Lewis said. “But now I know I make an impact. Every day, I know I’ve made somebody’s day better.”
Lewis is one of the many JRMC employees making an impact in our community. If you would like to nominate a JRMC employee to be featured on our website, call Katie Ferren at (870) 541-7663 or email her at email@example.com.