Ever since the days of Florence Nightingale, nurses have come to be known for their spirit of compassion and caretaking. Even today, a recent Gallup poll suggested that nursing continues to be the most trusted profession in the U.S., with 84% of respondents placing a high level of trust in them. Nurses have a unique ability to connect with patients, sometimes at their most vulnerable, and build rapport with them that lasts long after their interactions.
And while these interactions are meaningful on their own, they also open the door for nurses to build lasting relationships that allow them to check-in with patients and encourage them to follow their health plans long after they leave the hospital or doctor’s office. Below are 3 ways nurse leaders can support their nurses as they work on the frontlines to improve patient health throughout the care continuum:
- Providing nutritional resources and education to patients. In addition to in-person nutritional education, clinicians can also provide external resources for patients to refer to through online portals and telemedicine communications.
- Automated check-ins. Many telehealth systems have the capability to send automated emails and post-care surveys to patients, allowing them to check-in on their progress and monitor whether or not they are following their health plans. Two forms of automated check-ins are:
- Remote health monitoring surveys which can provide visibility to any troublesome symptoms patients might be experiencing and allow clinicians the opportunity to touch base with them in a time and cost-efficient way.
- Post-discharge surveys can be administered 1-2 days after a patient is discharged and allow clinicians the opportunity to ask patients a variety of questions.
- Encouraging patients to become their own healthcare advocates. By providing patients with the right resources, clinicians can help enable patients to improve their health IQ and take a proactive approach to their long-term health goals that they otherwise might not do on their own. Patients who are reminded to come in for regular check-ins or have the ability to ask their healthcare providers questions through online portals are well-positioned to take their health seriously and become their own healthcare advocates.
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