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Impact of unscheduled nurse-led virtual care for people with diabetes on nursing practices and patient satisfaction

07 March 2024
Volume 33 · Issue 5



The COVID-19 pandemic and its social restrictions accelerated the expansion of virtual clinical care, and this has been reported to be safe, low cost and flexible.


This study aimed to examine nursing practices and patient satisfaction with unscheduled nurse-led virtual care for people with diabetes.


A cross-sectional descriptive survey of clinical nurse specialists and patients was carried out, using an activities log for nursing practices and a satisfaction and enablement survey for callers.


Patients reported high satisfaction levels and greater self-confidence in keeping themselves healthy after receiving virtual care. Most calls (74.8%) from patients were for advice and education. Each call led to an average of 2.5 actions for the clinical nurse specialist.


The service is highly valued and is effective, but adds to the nurse workload burden.

The onset and prolonged restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a move away from traditional face-to-face consultations between patients and clinicians to the increased use of virtual care as a routine part of patient services in healthcare systems (Walsh et al, 2021). Many clinics facilitated unscheduled phone call arrangements, where patients could call nurses who would provide them with rapid access to information and advice. This mode of care has continued and expanded following the pandemic. However, there is a lack of information about the impact of such unscheduled virtual consultation systems on nurses' workloads or patient evaluation of receiving care in this way.

A search of the most recent literature on the evaluation of unscheduled virtual care clinics reveals that they offer a safe, low-cost, flexible clinical care (Due-Christensen et al, 2015; Remy et al, 2020). Patient satisfaction was reported to be high for virtual care, but it should be noted not that all patients reported such high levels of this (Chew et al, 2019; O'Reilly et al, 2019).

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