Communication Techs Keep Patients Connected with Loved Ones

Friday, May 8, 2020 | Expanded Services, COVID-19
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a restricted visitation policy at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent and Sussex Campuses, the Patient Advocacy department created a new position to help facilitate communication between patients, their families, care partners, and staff. Known as communication techs, these team members provide assistive devices with video capability, such as tablets, as well as preferred language accessibility to patients so they can stay connected with their loved ones beyond a simple phone call.

“This is a non-clinical role and an innovative way for our staff that are being deployed to utilize their skills and focus on the patient experience,” said Marianne Foard, MS, RN, NE-BC, PRC, director of Bayhealth Patient Advocacy, Service Excellence and Professional Recruitment. “Patients and families have commented on how the work being done by the communication techs has alleviated some of their worries as they are separated from their loved ones.”

Each tech that is deployed receives a mini orientation that focuses on the art of communication, the use of empathy and hourly rounding. The communication techs are working on most units and the goal is to provide this service seven days a week.

Foard says Patient Advocacy also continues to offer diversion activities for patients, including adult coloring books, Zentangle, and sleep kits to enhance rest and promote healing.

As for other policies related to connecting with loved ones, flowers are still being accepted per usual guidelines, and families may drop off items for their loved ones at the front entrances. All items must be in a bag with clear identification of the patient’s first and last name. A member of the Patient Advocacy team will ensure it is properly delivered to the patient.

Visit for other information about how Bayhealth is operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

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