Employee spotlight: How NP Nicole Comstock connects personally with her patients to deliver great virtual care
At Cadence, we believe that a better quality of life begins with better care. No matter what role at the company, our team is on a mission to give everyone consistent, proactive healthcare every day. In our Employee Perspectives series, you will hear how different Cadence team members are meeting the company's mission and why they are passionate about their work.
This week, Nurse Practitioner, Nicole Comstock discusses her work on the Care Delivery team. If you’re interested in learning more about Cadence and current job opportunities, check out our careers page to learn more.
1. Tell us a little bit about what you do here at Cadence. What are your core responsibilities?
I am a nurse practitioner, and I joined the Care Delivery team at Cadence a little over a year ago. I have been a nurse for a total of 19 years. For 13 of those, I have practiced as a cardiology nurse practitioner.
My role as a NP at Cadence is to help patients improve their quality of life by helping to provide more consistent, proactive, guideline-directed healthcare. My core responsibilities include collaborating with our RNCs, Care Navigators, MDs and our partnering providers to assess and evaluate patients’ vitals, symptoms, and labs to help manage their medications and treatment plans.
2. What gets you most excited about your job at Cadence and about the company at large?
One of the first things I noticed when I joined Cadence was everyone’s drive to create a company that will help deliver world class healthcare and make it accessible to everyone. Cadence has curated an excellent team and an environment where we all work together, combining cutting-edge technology with expert-guided care that will improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients all across the country. Many of our patients struggle with getting access to healthcare, and now we can provide excellent care in the comfort of their home.
I am very passionate about heart failure treatment and prevention. This includes caring for patients who have a current diagnosis of heart failure as well as those who don’t yet have the diagnosis but are at risk of developing heart failure due to other health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. Chronic disease patients require frequent visits to titrate medications and provide ongoing education to assure they are successful with their plan of care. In today’s healthcare environment, it is not always feasible to get an appointment with your primary care provider or cardiologist in a timely manner.
In my previous role prior to Cadence, I had experience with other RPM programs but these programs did not have clinicians that could actually provide care for patients. Thus, it created more work for me and took up time that I did not have, and therefore was not successful. This is where Cadence excels: in delivering care and driving change. We have excellent, experienced, and well-rounded Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses who are able to evaluate patients' data and put a plan into action by providing advice and guideline-directed care to patients in between their regularly scheduled visits with their primary care team.
3. Can you talk about how your transition to virtual patient care has gone given your extensive experience with in-person care? Do you still feel like you’re able to have a direct impact on patient lives?
All I knew before coming to Cadence was in-person, face-to-face healthcare delivery. I initially was quite hesitant to make the transition because I loved my patients and their families. I worried that virtual care would not allow me to make those personal connections and develop a trusting relationship with my patients, which is an extremely important component of being able to provide great care.
All of those worries faded once I gained my own patient panel and started having initial and subsequent visits with patients and their caregivers. I was relieved to still have those same connecting conversations and share personal moments with them. It is like talking to my family members on the phone and checking in with what has been going on in their lives, their kids' lives, their grandchildren’s lives, and their pets’ lives. I still get to hear about their vacations, fishing trips, and milestone birthday parties. I am able to build the same rapport with patients over the phone as I have in the past during in-person office visits. Now I get to have a direct impact on the lives of patients from all over the country.
4. Can you share any particular stories of this impact? Any moments where you’ve provided care that you are proud of in particular?
It is always a great feeling when I am able to get a heart failure patient on all four pillars of guideline-directed medical therapy knowing it will help them feel better, stay out of the hospital, and live longer. I love seeing a patient whose blood pressure is off the charts at enrollment, who gradually trends down over the next couple of months and eventually expresses how thankful they are for the Cadence program. These types of stories occur numerous times every day and are often posted in our Mission Wins channel so the entire company can celebrate these wins together.
There are certainly cases where we have noticed trends in vital signs, or when patients report symptoms that led to actions that were immediately life-saving. But some of the most rewarding moments to me are also the small everyday wins: I love hearing patients talk about how participating in Cadence opened their eyes to their health issues, made them more accountable for their own health, and thus empowered them to make life-altering changes to their daily routines.
5. For anyone who's considering joining Cadence, in particular those in clinical roles, what would you tell them about based on your experience?
Making the transition from in person healthcare and leaving a medical center I had been a part of for over 18 years was one of the biggest decisions I have ever made. I was comfortable in my role as Heart Failure and Structural Heart Program NP. I built both programs from the ground up and was very passionate about their success. However, I needed a change and a new challenge.
When I made the transition to Cadence, it was a breath of fresh air for me. I found myself surrounded by others who had the same drive to improve patients' lives by making healthcare delivery more consistent and accessible. Our Care Delivery team is full of people who love asking questions, are eager to learn new things, and excited to grow individually and as a team. I love surrounding myself with coworkers who push me to be a better clinician and seek innovative ways to change and scale healthcare delivery.
Cadence’s core values really describe the company’s energy, and every time I read them, I get excited about being part of this team!