A Clean Bill Of Health | Hawaii Jobs

A Clean Bill Of Health

RN care specialist Connie Saunders leads a discussion on asthma inhalers with other UHA employees.

By Nicole Kato

Health insurance company UHA (University Health Alliance) goes beyond just paying out claims by taking a more personalized approach to member care. That is why it has on staff a group of nurses whose mission to help people falls in line with its own – and the company is always looking for more dedicated employees to join the team.

“We each do something a little different,” shared RN care specialist Erin Chow, who’s been with the company for the past three years. “It all depends on the nurse’s interest and past experiences.”

Chow, for example, reviews patients’ medical records when they get admitted to the hospital or need surgery. Her job sees her perusing data to make sure those various procedures or treatments being prescribed are the most appropriate services for the situation.

“We use evidence-based research to do that,” she explained. “And we’re always learning. There’s always something new to read about, and you get to see the newest technology and upcoming procedures.”

Even more valuable than the tailored work experience is the underlying belief UHA has that learning is a lifelong process.

“When I came here, I was a new graduate,” continued Chow. “I had a little clinical experience in a hospital, but I wanted to learn more.

“It’s a huge learning environment. Our doctors pull the group together, even those who are not nurses, to talk about things coming up in health care. Everyone is learning, even if you don’t have a direct role in it, but you get insight into what’s going on in the health care industry.”

Though mostly behind the scenes, all medical professionals, including nurses, at the health insurance provider play a big role in helping people get better. They participate in patient outreach, calling them and visiting them in the hospital or at home. Staff members also lead educational activities and discussions, go through medications with patients, show them how to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes and more.

“A lot of people wouldn’t know what nurses do at an insurance company,” Chow said.

While they might not be in the hospital providing patient care, UHA employees are always at work in the background facilitating care, organizing resources for members and getting people set up to take control of their health outside of the hospital setting.

Most importantly, the environment is one that fosters a sense of belonging and where the act of making a difference thrives. Nurses, for example, in a hospital setting normally receive around six weeks of training through a preceptor. At UHA, though, individualized training plans are set in place as soon as a candidate is hired.

“You can sit with one of our experienced nurses every single day for as much or as little as you need to get up to speed,” said Chow. “I think that’s a huge part in retaining nurses.”

The goal behind this process is to ensure everyone is secure with his or her workload.

“We want to make sure everyone is comfortable with the work they’re doing and can use the skills they brought with them to help the company progress forward.”

Contact Patrick Klein at pklein@staradvertiser.com if you desire to have your company featured in this section.

THE 411

COMPANY: UHA Health Insurance

LOCATION: Topa Financial Center, 700 Bishop St., Ste. 300

PHONE: 532-4000

WEBSITE: uhahealth.com

CEO/PRESIDENT: Howard Lee

EMPLOYEES: about 159

BENEFITS: Medical (100 percent of medical, drug and vision insurance premiums for associates and their families); dental (UHA pays for single coverage, or a portion of two-party or family coverage); personal time off; 12 paid holidays a calendar year; 401(k); flex spending account; other insurances (accidental death and dismemberment, group life, long-term care or disability); work flex; wellness time; Wellness Bucks (up to $75 a month reimbursement for healthy lifestyle activities)

LAWRENCE TABUDLO PHOTOS