In our new podcast, Heart and Soul of Oncology Navigation, cancer care professionals share their real-world experiences, insights, and knowledge about oncology navigation and delve into the issues that impact professional practices and patient outcomes. In our July episode, Pamela Goetz and Jennifer Bires discussed how to create a successful virtual environment for support programs during the pandemic.
Top 3 Takeaways
- Patients’ access to online programming is more important than ever.
The ability to bring patients and caregivers together through technology is crucial when in-person meetings are difficult or impossible to arrange. But providing services and programs is dependent on patients having access to the necessary technology. As we continue to adjust to the requirements of the new setting and format, it is also important to create an environment where patients feel comfortable participating and where trust is fostered as much as it had been in the in-person programming.
- Understanding the technologies and the human dynamics to make things run effectively is essential.
For effective communication to occur, everyone involved must understand how to use the programming platform. This means not only having knowledge about the technical aspects or hardware, but also having the skills to offer a safe environment that maintains the group’s authentic identity. Ground rules for sharing private information and maintaining confidentiality must be reviewed, and familiarity with privacy options (such as the mute function or the camera) must be established upfront. Clearly defining responsibilities and options allows for the patients to feel at ease and be willing to be open.
- Offer hope for the future through online programming.
Online programming is here to stay, especially as it helps to decrease some of the barriers to care for many. Finding a good balance through online and in-person programming for building communities for patients in all stages of treatment should be the goal. Creating connections and providing care are integral to what we do, not just in person but online as well.
To learn more about the Heart and Soul of Oncology Navigation podcast and to view our series schedule,
please visit bit.ly/AONNpodcast.
Stay tuned for this month’s episode: The Role of the Navigator as the Genetic Extender,
dropping Wednesday, August 26, 2020, 7:00 pm EDT.