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Virtual Connections: Utilizing Technology to Build Relationships with Injured Workers

Posted by Tammy Bradly on August 7, 2019 at 10:08 AM

As the telemedicine industry continues to boom, we’re seeing more and more new forms of telehealth emerge in the marketplace. Telehealth variations include tele-rehab, remote patient monitoring and even utilization of “avatar-like” nurses by hospital systems and providers. In this new world of telehealth, we need to continually be looking for innovative modes by which triage and telephonic case managers can connect with the individuals they serve and engage them on their road to recovery. There are two new types of Virtual Connections designed to support clinical staff in the establishment of trust and engagement with injured workers – Virtual Triage and Video-Telephonic Case Management.

Virtual Triage allows triage nurses to connect via secure video to enhance their ability to assess the extent of the injury accurately. Virtual Triage also provides the most appropriate recommendation for the level of care needed. This technology allows nurses to target:

  • Burns
  • Lacerations
  • Scrapes/scratches
  • Bruising
  • Rashes
  • Insect bites

Video-Telephonic Case Management allows the telephonic case manager and individual to connect via video conference. This method enables the nurse to more closely mirror a face-to-face visit and quickly establish an element of trust and rapport with the injured or ill person. Utilizing the video connection allows the telephonic nurse to:

  • Pick up on non-verbal cues such as body language, which is essential in engaging with patients
  • Appeal to a younger generation or anyone comfortable using video technology to communicate
  • View the injured body part and the healing process

As with all new technology, some people will be hesitant to take part, so participation in these programs is entirely voluntary. It is also not expected for adoption to occur overnight. Like telemedicine, it takes time for people to get accustomed to a new idea and embrace it. The usability and likability of this communication solution is of the utmost importance.

*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs are those of each respective author. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*