Staff & Provider Engagement | Patient and Care Partners

Caring for the caregiver during COVID-19 suspended visitation

During the 4th surge of COVID-19, August to November 2021, visitation was suspended in a hospital system in North Georgia. The Compassionate Connections Call Center (CCCC) was created to alleviate staff stress and to manage calls and communication. The goal of the initiative was to reduce interruptions to patient care caused by the increased number of calls to the clinical units by patients, families, loved ones and personal caregivers. The CCCC managed all incoming calls and communicated with the patient’s primary nurse through a coordinated process which limited interruptions. By caring for the caregiver, the aim was to improve the workplace experience of the nurses. Ninety-seven volunteers from over 13 departments across the organization worked in the CCCC and managed 3200 calls. With an average call time of roughly three minutes, the center freed up approximately 160 hours daily for nurses who might otherwise have paused patient care to answer calls. In addition, a family liaison role was created to proactively provide updates to families. This team of forty-six Registered Nurses worked a total of 2925 hours proactively updating families and facilitating virtual visits.