In March 2020, COVID-19 changed the landscape of care organisations globally. Like all care organisations, Zuyderland Medical Centre was faced with a range of challenges, including: how can our oncology care continue under these circumstances? It appeared as though digital consultations through video calls was the ideal solution. In this client story, we explain how Zuyderland’s Breast Centre clinic has incorporated these digital consultations into the care pathway and how it has been received so far.
By providing the patient with the information required before the digital consultation, they can prepare themselves and write down any questions they might have for the Healthcare professional.
In order to provide optimal processes, the Breast Centre clinic ensures that all information given to patients during preoperative interviews is also provided in hard copy. Videos are also produced about a range of operations. This information can be emailed to the patient or shared through the patient portal (Enovation Funatic) prior to the consultation.
Many advantages of video calling
The method of combining information sent in advance with digital consultations means that patients and their relatives and carers can better access and retain information enabling them to ask targeted questions during the actual consultation.
Patients are more relaxed during their digital consultation because they can carry out the conversation in the comfort of their own surroundings. If they choose, the patients representatives (relatives and carers) can be present during the consultation – as many as they like. That way they feel less burdened during the discussion.
There are also the practical advantages: saving time and costs. As a patient in Zuyderland put it:
““I found the major advantage to be the logistics. You don’t have to drive to the hospital or find parking; you don’t have to go around looking for where to go”.
In the video shown below, specialist nurse Laudy van Hettema interviews one of her patients about her experience with video calls.
This video was originally published in the Oncology Magazine of Zuyderland Medical Centre and has been posted with permission from those involved.
Better than in person
The experiences of the Breast Centre clinic at Zuyderland Medical Centre has shown that there are two stages in the breast cancer care pathway where, according to patients, a digital consultation was well received and more convenient than a face-to-face physical outpatient visit:
- Two to three days after a consultation
- A week before surgery, during what is known as the preoperative conversation.
Zuyderland can therefore draw on its own experience to combine digital and personal consultations in the best possible way, for the best patient experience.
The Zuyderland Breast Centre is a wonderful example of how the right preparation can ensure that the patient has the best possible experience of a digital consultation. Each patient appointment is carefully reviewed in advance to ascertain if digital or face-to-face care is the most appropriate. This means that digital care is not a replacement for physical care, but rather an enrichment of it.
Zuyderland Medical Centre uses Enovation Zaurus digital consultating rooms for video calls. Are you interested in video calling using Enovation Zaurus? Then get in touch with us.
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