The Challenge

  • In patient support programs, nurse-led telephone follow-ups to patients can be an effective method to support treatment adherence and improve patient experience and outcomes.
  • The power of the call is in the quality of the conversation between nurse and patient, in particular, ensuring nurses are eliciting and addressing patient ambivalence and concerns about treatment.
  • The field nursing team of a global specialty pharmaceutical company asked: "How can we add value to the phone calls we make to our patients?" 
  • These nurses were available separately to the patient's main medical team, offering practical and emotional support in managing a range of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune conditions using a long-term self-injection treatment.
  • However, the nurses found that calls made to their patients often ended quickly with a “no thank you ... I'm good." This made it challenging to assess patient needs, and even harder to provide relevant tools and resources to optimize health behaviors and outcomes.

Our Behavior Change Approach

  • Atlantis Health used validated health psychology and behavioral science tools and techniques to facilitate engaging two-way dialogue with patients.
  • We leveraged motivational interviewing, an approach that integrates key communication skills, such as:
    • Open questions
    • Affirmations
    • Reflective listening
    • Summarizing
  • In addition, Atlantis Health designed and delivered a digital dashboard that nurses could turn to for professional learning modules at their own pace. The dashboard also ensured that new nurses were able to access the training digitally as part of their induction.

The Solution

Atlantis Health developed a multicomponent nurse training program composed of the following:

  • Initial roll-out of multiple skill-building training sessions to 50 field nurses, facilitated by our Behavioral Science specialists, which involved live and virtual sessions, small group role plays, and case study analysis
  • After the initial live trainings, nurses were surveyed to explore additional training needs and these areas were addressed via a series of refresher trainings
  • Secondary roll-out of the training program to an additional 50 of the client's Case Managers

The initial and refresher trainings were then adapted for digital, self-directed, "bite-sized" engagement and uploaded on the training dashboard. Nurses were encouraged to complete regular self assessments to determine their training needs and then were directed to the relevant dashboard content.

These digital modules were further adapted to support new starters to ensure they started with the key foundational skills to support patient engagement.

Nurse call guides were also updated to ensure that motivational interviewing principles were incorporated at key points in the conversation, helping to direct nurses to opportunities for exploration and behavioral intervention.

The Impact

  • 100% of nurses were very satisfied with the new skills learned throughout the training program
  • Up to 84% completion rate of online training modules
  • Nurse training to support patients on long-term treatment was ongoing for 3+ years.

Learn more about our behavior change solutions.