How Healthcare Systems Can Build Lifelong Patient Relationships

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Today’s environment of shorter hospital stays and increased outpatient services adds complexity to developing life-long relationships between patients and health systems. These relationships require consistent, on-going efforts and hardwired behavior throughout the full spectrum of provider settings and interactions.

Patients move among a variety of outpatient service providers, which comes with less time and fewer opportunities to form bonded personal relationships. Further complicating the process, patients are now tasked with personal empowerment and responsibility for their own healthcare, which could lead to fear, frustration, and probably healthcare shopping for the provider who delivers the most support. Medically complex patients are at an added risk of mismanaging their treatments if there is inadequate or no home support.

  1. Home monitoring and other home interventions can be one care solution that may offer opportunities for lasting relationships. When the majority of care and medical management is delivered in the home, home health services providers can hold invaluable positions on behalf of the healthcare system with an opportunities to form memorable relationships with patients. However, home care services are typically short term and many patients may not have access to those services. That is where telephone visits from a caring nurse can deliver an on-going, powerful, and cost-effective solution.
  2. A nurse advice lines enables patients to learn about their condition in the relaxed and safe atmosphere of their own home and to have nurse advice available over the phone when they have concerning symptoms or questions. A nurse advice line can help build a patient’s confidence that a healthcare professional is always available or knowing that “my nurse” will call on scheduled days to help them through their treatment plan—motivating patient compliance and signaling to the patient that the healthcare system truly cares. Real relationships that represent the healthcare system are formed with these phone visits. AccessNurse records show us that more than 60% of symptomatic callers told us that they would have gone to the ED if they had not called the nurse advice line and been referred to lower levels of care or received advice on how to resolve their symptoms through home care.
  3. Within the first 48 hours of discharge, 15 percent of discharged patients require a nurse intervention to ensure compliance with the post-discharge plan of care. The art and science of effective telephonic nursing requires special assessment and communication skills that deliver measurable results. As an outsourced call center representing many large prestigious healthcare organizations, our talented nurses focus on these types of interaction.

Although nurse triage and patient engagement calls provide impressive and measurable cost containment, the compassionate nurses who develop warm personal relationships present the face of an organization and that organization’s “caring” message to patients and their families. These caring and personal interactions build long-term patient/provider relationships.

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