Comprehensive care. It’s a term that many healthcare organizations use to describe their approach to treating patients, but at OAA we can say for certain it is much more than just a term. It’s an action and a promise that every member of our medical staff provides each patient that walks through our doors, and sometimes can mean the difference between life and death.
At OAA our clinical team is carefully selected, and Amy Creitz, PA-C, is a glowing example of the high standards we set. It is because of her exemplary care and focuses on the patient as a whole, not just as a set of symptoms, two men have a second chance at life.
Stanley Herster, a patient at OAA’s Spine Center of Excellence, was scheduled for an appointment to address his back issues. A week or so before his visit, he was experiencing some abdominal concerns and cold sweats out of nowhere. His wife urged him to make an appointment with his primary care physician, but since he had an upcoming appointment at OAA, he decided to wait.
Upon his arrival, Laureen, a medical assistant at OAA, noticed how ill Stanley looked. She notified Amy who was immediately concerned about his well-being. While reviewing his history, Stanley mentioned he had been dealing with some abdominal issues over the past week and was feeling discomfort. Amy continued her comprehensive evaluation and found his abdomen to be alarmingly distended and tender. In addition to spine care, Amy also has training in general medicine, which helped to reinforce her decision that Stanley needed to head to the emergency room immediately. She called for an ambulance and sent Stanley on his way to receive emergency surgery that would save his life.
Stanley wasn’t aware, but his colon had been perforated and an infection had started to invade his body due to a subcutaneous abscess. It is because of Amy’s comprehensive evaluation and quick-thinking that Stanley was able to live to see the next day. 'One of the greatest things someone can do is save a life,' stated Stanley. 'I'm thankful for Amy every hour of every day.'
Much like Stanley, Louis, another patient of OAA’s Spine Center, had come in for what he thought was back pain. He was greeted and seen by Amy as well, who then sent Louis down the hall for a few x-rays. A few minutes later, Louis remembers Amy asking, “When was the last time you saw your vascular surgeon?” To which he replied, “sometime last year.” With that, Amy jumped on the phone and after a few minutes of discussion with Louis’ vascular surgeon, she entered the exam room and said, “Louis, you need to get to the emergency room immediately. The staff has been notified and will be expecting your arrival.”
Although Louis was not aware of it, he had an abdominal aortic aneurysm, an enlargement of the abdominal aorta, which was ready to burst at any minute and required immediate surgery. If Amy would not have taken a comprehensive look at Louis’ x-rays, he would not have been able to share his story with us today.
This is only an example of how one of the clinical team members at OAA provides a comprehensive approach to treating patients. All of our physicians, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners know the value of comprehensive care and practice it day-in and day-out.