During the pandemic, oral communication between patients and nurses has declined due to the high risk of infections. Patients often press the call button as they lack attention, communication, or support; and this has become even more apparent due to the restrictions on outside visitors.
For nurses, this presents a particularly stressful situation in which they are providing support and oftentimes non-health related information continuously along with the procedural and documentation work that must coincide with the call.
My idea is to facilitate patient to nurse communication and other healthcare professionals while avoiding potential infection risk with face-to-face contact.
As voice messaging is a very relevant part of our modern life and eases communications greatly, I would like to propose a similar idea in healthcare facilities as well. It may not always be necessary for a nurse to visit the patient. Perhaps a patient would like to ask for some help or information which might not be particularly urgent.
With “Voice Letters”, a patient can send a voice mail to the nurses station, where the team can receive and document the request. The nurses would be able to assess the urgency of the message, and prepare a response accordingly. I believe that this form of communication would be more useful than the usual call button, as oftentimes it is unclear whether the request is urgent or not.