Innovator Susan Scherer - Advocating For Patient Care a New Approach
Let me introduce you to an amazing woman who took a wealth of nursing knowledge and experience, the love of patient care, and an entrepreneurial mind and spirit and created a one of a kind approach to nursing care for cancer patients. Susan’s ambitions and innovative thinking have lead her to the company she founded called RN Cancer Guides (RNCG).
Let me introduce you to an amazing woman who took a wealth of nursing knowledge and experience, the love of patient care, and an entrepreneurial mind and spirit and created a one of a kind approach to nursing care for cancer patients. Susan Scherer, RN, BSN, OCN is a nurse who seems to have done it all in the field of nursing. Susan’s medical career spans over 25 years. Her experience ranges from working in trauma, diagnostic coding, neurological, medical and surgical intensive care units, neurological-oncology, endocrine cancer and disorders to oncological emergency medicine. Not only did she work in England for the National Health Service at Ipswich Trust Hospital for 2 years, Susan has traveled the globe attending and participating in oncology research and acquiring an extensive oncology education learning the latest cancer treatments, best practices with emphasis in patient education and advocacy. She has served in the United States Air Force and has received countless awards for oncology and business. Susan has served on various committees and speaks nationally about cancer patient advocacy. Susan’s ambitions and innovative thinking have led her to the company she founded called RN Cancer Guides (RNCG).
Susan states, “I have had family members that were diagnosed with cancer and I used to think, ‘how do people do this? I am in the system which allows me to help my family but what about others?’ I am one who roots for the underdog and I wanted to make a difference.” So in 2013, Susan founded a company called RN Cancer Guides. RNCG is a company that hires experienced Oncology Certified Nurses to help navigate cancer patients and their families through all of the barriers of their care with a unique approach. The nurse meets with the patient and family in their home to determine what knowledge they have about their cancer and their medical plan. They find out what the most important issues are in the patient’s life and then go on to try to obtain help for them. By remaining independent of any particular provider, clinic, hospital, or insurance company, RNCG is truly able to support the needs of the patient and family.
Nurses with RNCG are able to operate to the fullest extent of their education and scope. The nurse goes with the patient and family to doctors appointments and then disseminates the information given so that the patient can make their own decisions regarding care and treatment paths. The RNCG nurse acts as a liaison for the patient and support network with their own medical team and healthcare provider. RN Care Guides are committed to helping patients have a better understanding of the complexities of cancer treatments. Their knowledge and relationships with physicians, social workers, therapists, billing offices, pharmacies and community support resources helps the patient transition more efficiently and confidently through each phase of treatment.
The company has 4 service lines:
- Working with primary care providers in an ACO or IPA capacity
- Private patient program that is utilized when patients want to hire them directly
- Employee Cancer Assistance Program (ECAP) that was trademarked to help employees of companies. These companies hire RNCG to care for them and their family members directly
- RNCG started a not for profit 501 (c)3 called RNCG Angel Foundation in 2014 that allows them to care for patients that don’t have the means to pay for service
In creating this company and concept, Susan encountered many barriers which she proudly states they have overcome.
- How do I let patients know that we are here?
- How do I educate the medical profession about the role we play while integrating with their care team?
- How do we get paid? Nurses can not bill insurance companies unless working under a doctor.
RNCG has been very fortunate to have local and national media and press cover what they do. The company gets invited to speak at professional organization conferences that utilize their service lines. Susan has done some radio shows and has spoken to patient support groups. The company has a very robust sales and marketing plan that allows them to have a national reach.
When asked what advice Susan would give to aspiring nurse entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs she said, “being on the frontline of healthcare allows nurses to have the most impact. We are constantly troubleshooting problems and having to come up with solutions which allow us to find business opportunities. I think nursing teaches us to have the same skills in medicine as well as business.” Having a passion for what you do and a predisposition to multitasking is imperative in starting one's own business. “You need to have the passion for your idea to take you through the highs and lows of running or starting your own business because you will have them.”
Susan states that nurses have made great strides in practice, research, and business. As our skill set and knowledge improve, she feels “we must break out of the mold that we are perceived as a ‘supportive role profession’. We must take the lead in our own employment and in legislation.” Nurses have the the advantage of the trust factor in regards to integrity and honesty which is typically an obstacle for business folks looking to build a business or client relationships. “I believe that nurses need to be aware of what is happening with the health care changes, what drives the market, and how it affects everyone involved. Because of my passion for raising our profession along with changes in healthcare, I created a business model that was not dependent on the traditional healthcare insurance reimbursement. My aspiration is that nurses are recognized and reimbursed for their skill set and knowledge.” In order to make changes and have an influential voice, nurses need to recognize their own value in monetary terms, not as an expense but as a revenue generator.
Susan Scherer has taken her passion and ideas and created an amazing company that is helping so many patients undergoing cancer care. She also is making a major impact in the role of the nurse as an income source in the ever-evolving healthcare market. She says that her role models have been her patients and industry leaders. She takes bits and pieces of inspiration and advice from colleagues and reference organizations such as the National Nurses in Business Association. Most of all she credits her faith in God. “ I feel He is my moral compass when dealing with people and business decisions. It has taken many prayers and lots of faith to have come this far and I feel very blessed to be doing this work.”Last edit by Joe V on Oct 20, '17
My Name is Sarah Matacale RN,BSN,CCS. I am thoroughly enjoying introducing the nursing community to several nurse innovators and entrepreneurs that are paving the way in the health care industry! I have a crazy wonderful life with my husband and three children!
Joined: Jan '17; Posts: 36; Likes: 261