NursingTimes.net released a 2009 article entitled, “Trespassers on Medical Ground?” The piece detailed the expanded role nurses are playing in U.K. healthcare delivery.
In many cases, nurse specialists, nurse consultants and nurse practitioners have taken over functions that used to be performed by junior doctors.
“We have made great strides in terms of developing the depth and scope of nurses’ capabilities and skills,” said Anne-Marie Rafferty, dean of King College London’s Florence Nightingale School of Nursing. “It is not about nurses being mini-doctors, but about extending nursing practice to increase patient access to services and enhance care.”
AstraZeneca has recognized the importance of nurses in medical practices. For this reason, the pharmaceutical giant has teamed up with arvato, a business outsourcing company, to start a program that will reach out to practice nurses via telephone to deliver information about AstraZeneca products and value-added services.
In 2011, AstraZeneca and arvato started a partnership to reach out to time-pressured healthcare professionals across the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS).
According to Nicolas Saudreau, AstraZeneca U.K.’s project manager for Innovative Channels, pharmaceutical representatives were only able to visit about 15 percent of the company’s customers. Implementing the telephone strategy enabled AstraZeneca to interact with healthcare professionals at a time and place of their choosing.
“From our perspective, arvato has been the only company to respond to our needs and to go beyond our original request in order to deliver exactly what we needed to deliver,” Saudreau said.
The arvato team consists of telephone professionals accredited by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI). In addition to making calls, arvato will provide support to the AstraZeneca sales staff through e-mail, patient support leaflets and educational materials.
Reaching out to nurses makes sense considering their broadening influence on healthcare throughout the NHS.
“The evolvement of nursing roles is a clear sign that the nursing profession is maturing,” said Rosemary Cook, director of the Queen’s Nursing Institute. “Nurses are no longer waiting to be told what to do but are taking control of service delivery and patients needs.”