When General Motors retiree Glenda Gravelyn found a post card in her mailbox about Carol Health, she thought, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Just two days earlier, Gravelyn’s doctor said she needed to start giving herself hormone injections instead of getting shots in the doctor’s office.

“The day she told me, I was just miserable,” 65-year-old Gravelyn said. “I couldn’t give myself this shot. I hate needles!”

She called Carol Health’s phone number for more information and then made the request online.

A short time later, a registered nurse arrived on her doorstep.

“End of story. Life has been wonderful ever since,” Gravelyn said.

Now she requests a Carol Health nurse every eight weeks. The RN arrives within an hour to administer the hormone injection prescribed by Gravelyn’s doctor. The medicine relieves extreme menopause symptoms triggered by a hysterectomy.

Easy as ordering groceries

It’s common to order groceries online and have them delivered to your home the same day.

The Spectrum Health Innovations team challenged itself to apply the same approach to nursing care.

With Carol Health, which began earlier this year, patients can go online or call to schedule a same-day visit.

“We can be to your home in as little as an hour,” said Anthony Lazzaro, an Innovations product specialist who handles the business side of Carol Health. “We also use registered nurses, which allows us to provide skilled nursing in the home.”

Carol Health RNs provide a wide range of services, including medication checks, vital sign monitoring, wound care, injections, personal care and reviews of medical instructions after patients are released from the hospital.

Another plus? Price transparency.

“We put our price right on our website, so people know exactly what they are going to pay,” Lazzaro said. A visit is $35 for the first 30 minutes, with additional minutes charged on a pro-rated basis.

Patients can also create a Carol Care Circle of family members or friends who are kept in the loop when care is provided. Each patient has a Carol Health record, so nurses can review previous care visits and pick up where the other nurse left off.

Peace of mind

Registered nurse Mike Czechowskyj, who oversees day-to-day clinical operations of Carol Health, is one of the nurses who makes house calls. He also helped develop the service, inspired by the medical needs of his elderly grandfather who lives hours away and could use similar support.

The popularity of the West Michigan service is growing.

“It’s exciting that people are using it,” Czechowskyj said. “We provide peace of mind for patients and their families.”

Gravelyn, who has lived and worked in seven cities during her 30-year career with General Motors, said she has never seen this kind of personalized, on-demand nursing service anywhere else.

“They are a godsend,” Gravelyn said. “I am so very pleased with them.”