Information is power and this is no more evident than in healthcare. One of the simplest ways to empower the population is to ensure that people have access to the right information to help them solve problems when they need it. Sykes Assistance Services has spent over a decade developing tools and processes to ensure that people can access information that helps them make decisions and provide care for themselves and the ones whom they love. We follow three simple rules when it comes to health information and advice.
Rule #1 The information has to be on target, just enough, and just in time
Rule #2 Information must be delivered in a way that people understand taking in to account literacy and culture,
Rule#3 We want to make sure that people can access it when and where they need it
Information is developed using plain language principles and is available in both French and English.
1. Symptom Based Care Advice - An integral part of our telephone triage or nurse-line service is a medically approved care advice database that provides relevant information for users of our service based on the problem they are facing such as a disease or symptom. The advice is linked directly with the symptom so that callers or users of other channels can receive help at exactly the same time as they are learning about their issue. This helps them to treat symptoms at home and provide first aid when needed. This information is provided as part of our clinical guideline package from Schmitt-Thompson through the IntefleCS call management application we use to support our services. All health information and triage protocols are created and then vetted using an expert panel process.
2. Health Information Library - Sykes Assistance Services has a clinically approved bilingual electronic health information library. Through our partnership with Healthwise we have access to one of the worlds largest repositories of health information, self-management support and decision aids. This "knowledgebase" can be accessed via the internet, through our contact centres or by using other channels such as text messaging or interactive voice response and recognition. The Healthwise information can also be purchased as a self-learning paper based guide called the Healthwise Handbook. In addition to this "off the shelf" information we have also researched and created content for emerging public health situations (e.g. SARS and H1N1) or for specific client programs. We are very proud of our ability rapidly deploy new content across multiple channels.
3. Community Service Referral - Sykes Assistance Services has partnered with community resource agencies to create community specific service referral databases. This gives our staff the ability to assess symptoms, facilitate user decision making and to provide difficult to locate community resource referral information. By integrating this information with our telehealth services Sykes can become a true single point of contact for population health initiatives.