In 2007 I began treating licensed healthcare professionals who participated in their state’s practitioner health program. I heard a common complaint, from nurses in particular,
“Bob, it takes me about a four hour commitment to attend a Caduceus group. Being single with two (or even one) children I struggle with paying for the group and a baby sitter, especially if I did shift work”.
I also heard many participants with related challenges. They were balancing two jobs and with required groups and work, they never saw family.
One rural physician told me it took him 2 hours on a Saturday to travel for a 1-hour Caduceus meeting. Then he had another 2 hour drive back home on his day off. “Bob, I have no time for family healing because of the massive time constraints!” So something “clicked” and I saw a solution.
Since 1999, I have treated patients by telehealth. I was a member of the American Telemedicine Association and knew that telehealth was making a big difference in remote places worldwide. I was on a committee that finally was able to get Medicare and Medicaid to reimburse for telehealth.
What if we applied this same approach to caduceus groups? This could solve many of the time and cost challenges for participants and their families. It would also allow us to help more of those effected in rural areas where it is nearly impossible to assist those suffering there.
I approached Tennessee’s Professional Assistance Program. Their program director saw the vision for nurses in Tennessee, so we started with a test. The test was six months in duration with four groups.
Not only did it work, but popularity spread. Positive outcomes increased. Now, nurses could literally balance between family and work responsibilities, while making Caduceus group attendance a true priority.
Something else occurred. The nurses discovered the savings in transportation, time, emotions, and employer support increased. In the Fall, 2014 program director wrote a edition of the scholarly Journal of Nursing Addictions the that Caduceus Educational Partners has been a great success.
Over the past four years the number of participants choosing online groups exploded. Local groups are still offered for those who have very little barriers to Caduceus attendance. Saving money, increasing family time, and engaging in regular attendance does make for a better participant experience and the participant success rates have increased to 96% from 82% during the period.
Find out more about how this approach can help with your state program. Download the backgrounder on Online Caduceus Programs Management.