When you ask any nurse why they chose their career path, all will incorporate some version of “to help people through some of their most vulnerable and challenging times.” One of the tools a nurse typically uses to assess a patient’s understanding of instructions and guidance is by reading their facial and body expressions. However, in telephonic nursing contact centers, that valuable tool is removed and not easily replaced with verbal cues. During the global health crisis, telehealth technology applications expanded as offices looked for ways to provide continuity of care while mitigating COVID exposure. This has empowered healthcare providers with the ability to see patients using a variety of video applications and made patients comfortable with the practice. Recognizing this growing trend, telephonic nursing contact centers started offering video interactions to patients as an alternative to audio interactions.
The ability to expand calls from solely audio to video has been received well not only by patients but also nurses. Nurses feel more connected to the patient and take satisfaction in easing the patient’s fears and anxiety. There are tangible benefits, such as when a patient begins an injectable medication. The video call allows for:
- Correcting the angle of the device
- Reviewing acceptable injection sites
- Being able to visually troubleshoot with a patient
- Checking facial and body expressions for cues of understanding or frustration
- The ability to use facial expressions to comfort and calm a patient
The impact is felt both at the patient level and the nurse’s level in job satisfaction. One UBC telephonic nurse remarked “Of course being able to see each other and read face and body language cues greatly improves our ability to communicate well and understand each other better. Without fail, my video experiences have left me with that feeling of ‘I made a real difference for this patient today.’” Another nurse at UBC stated “After being with the program for so many years, I didn’t realize how much I missed the connection you make with a patient when you can see them. Watching their faces go from concern and confusion to relief and confidence is why nursing education is so fulfilling for both me and the patients.”
Patient satisfaction surveys in the UBC Contact Center have reflected 100% patient satisfaction when video has been utilized on the call. One patient remarked “I wouldn’t change anything. Everybody was absolutely wonderful, they answered my questions, they took time to help me, and they helped me with what I needed.” Another patient remarked, “It was nice that the nurse takes you through the prompt of how to take your shot and I enjoy working with them.”
As technology continues to evolve, companies must look to new methods of patient interaction to meet patients in a familiar way that brings tangible benefits. Bridging those gaps while continuing to serve patients in exceptional ways will lead to an improved ability to start and stay on therapy.
UBC’s Patient Access Services prides itself on putting Patients First, emphasizing the design of support services to what best fits the patient type and their specific therapy. To learn more about how we achieve outstanding access and adherence results, get in touch with us here.
About the Author
Susan Thompson is a Director, Program Management at UBC. Her 12 years of experience managing patient support programs and contact centers informs her approach of always seeking the best methods to reach specific patient populations and cater to the therapy they are taking.