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Vol. 74. Issue 6.
Pages 562-563 (June 2021)
Vol. 74. Issue 6.
Pages 562-563 (June 2021)
Letter to the Editor
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Soft skills in cardiology telemedicine consultations
Las habilidades blandas en consultas telemáticas de cardiología
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Emilio Augusto Rosario Pacahualaa,
Corresponding author
emiliorosario981@gmail.com

Corresponding author:
, Janett Isabel Sanchez Pimentelb, Aldo Rafael Medina Gameroa
a Departamento de Humanidades, Universidad Privada del Norte, Lima, Perú
b Departamento de Humanidades, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC), Lima, Perú
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Vivencio Barrios, Juan Cosín-Sales, Marisol Bravo, Carlos Escobar, José M. Gámez, Ana Huelmos, Carolina Ortiz Cortés, Isabel Egocheaga, José Manuel García-Pinilla, Javier Jiménez-Candil, Esteban López-de-Sá, Javier Torres Llergo, Juan Carlos Obaya, Vicente Pallares-Carratalá, Marcelo Sanmartín, Rafael Vidal-Pérez, Ángel Cequier
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2021;74:563-410.1016/j.rec.2021.03.007
Vivencio Barrios, Carlos Escobar, Juan Cosín-Sales, José M. Gámez
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To the Editor,

The consensus document by Barrios et al.1 makes recommendations for the use of telemedicine in cardiology consultations in response to the current global health emergency. Given the heightened patient vulnerability in this situation, the authors propose that cardiologists use soft skills during telemedicine interviews with their patients.

The article recommends that nursing professionals make the first contact with patients, aiming for telemedicine consultations that are as structured, efficient, and conclusive as possible. Compared with the much more familiar face-to-face consultation, a telemedicine consultation requires high levels of concentration that can be a significant cause of stress for health professionals. One of the keys to adjusting to this new reality is the acquisition of skills in new information and communication technology tools.2 To acquire these skills, nurses could benefit from shared learning with other health professionals to identify strengths and address weaknesses. Such an approach would not only ensure that teleconsultations are as effective as required, but would also help to ensure that they are conducted in a friendly, calm, and relaxed atmosphere, thus creating an agreeable experience for patients.

The application of soft skills in the cardiology teleconsultation ensures successful interaction with patients and family members. One of the key areas where physicians can benefit from training is communication skills, especially in relation to informing patients about their health status.3 The cardiologist needs to maintain a motivational and proactive approach, while demonstrating logical thinking and communication skills. These skills are not innate; they must be developed and maintained, and training in all these areas should therefore be a priority. Maintaining good communication is the surest guarantee that the consultation goals will fall within an integrated care approach.4

It is thus essential that physicians and nursing professionals internalize the importance of using soft skills during telemedicine consultations. This requires a conscious and constant effort. The goal is to achieve an appropriate response to the new situation that optimizes workflows while avoiding staff burnout, thus ensuring that the consultation is a positive experience for both the patient and the health professional. This is achieved through empathy, assertive communication, sensitivity, and emotional intelligence, with the aim of building a close and trusting relationship.5

Soft skills are an essential part of the health professional's toolkit, and their acquisition should therefore be prioritized to support interactions with patients, who are certain to feel vulnerable due to their health problem plus the added stress related to the current pandemic. An empathetic interaction with patients provides an important counterbalance to this difficult situation. To complement this community and human-centered approach, health care specialists also need to acquire skills in the use of new technologies for teleconsultations in accordance with data protection regulations.

References
[1]
V. Barrios, J. Cosín-Sales, M. Bravo, et al.
La consulta telemática para el cardiólogo clínico en tiempos de la COVID-19: presente y futuro Documento de consenso de la Sociedad Española de Cardiología.
Rev Esp Cardiol., 73 (2020), pp. 910-918
[2]
L. Muñoz Fernández, E. Díaz García, S. Gallego Riestra.
Las responsabilidades derivadas del uso de las tecnologías de la información y comunicación en el ejercicio de las profesiones sanitarias.
An Pediatr (Barc)., 92 (2020), pp. 307.e1-307.e6
[3]
C. Pedreros.
Competencias y habilidades del médico en cuidados críticos en Chile.
Rev Med Clin Condes., 30 (2019), pp. 110-119
[4]
J.E. Hollander, B.G. Carr.
Virtually perfect? Telemedicine for COVID-19.
N Engl J Med., 382 (2020), pp. 1679-1681
[5]
S. Pérez-Ortega, R. Mesa-Rico, C. Fernández-Redondo, J. Valverde-Bernal.
Situación de la enfermera de cardiología durante la pandemia COVID-19.
Enferm Cardiol., (2020),
Copyright © 2021. Sociedad Española de Cardiología
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