NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Telemedicine and Telehealth in Health Care

Introduction

NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Delivery of health is extremely important as it includes quality of care, cost of health care, quickness of delivery of care, the relationship between healthcare and patients to increase patient satisfaction. The growth rate of chronic diseases has increased by 40% and it is expected that it will reach 50% by 2023. Further, shortage in nurses has created a major problem in health care delivery (Weinstein et al., 2014). Telemedicine and telehealth provide a health care delivery system based on technologies to deliver quality care at higher speed and in a reliable way to reduce the cost of health care (Krupinski & Bernard, 2014). Nurses have to understand technology and informatics to provide better care. Increasing demand for telemedicine has allowed policymakers, private groups, and patient advocacy organizations to adopt telemedicine. The purpose of the paper is to understand the modern-day need for telemedicine and telehealth and how it affects the nurse’s practice in health care. Also, the paper explains the importance of telemedicine and informatics skills and knowledge of nurses in implementing and using telehealth to reduce complexities in health care delivery. 

NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Need for Telemedicine and Telehealth

Policies such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) work towards delivering quality care and also reduce the costs of health care by minimizing complexities in health care delivery. The current health care paradigm is towards reliable delivery and better access to health care. Remote patients cannot access health care easily (Kvedar, Coye & Everett, 2014). Remote hospitals cannot provide intensive and emergency services without proper delivery system. Due to nurse shortages, crowd in emergency rooms increases and it leads to many patients not getting care (Weinstein et al., 2014). Family nurse practitioners need better assistance from physicians during emergency and general check-ups.  The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has supported the use of telehealth and telemedicine in efficient and appropriate delivery of longitudinal care through technologies. Technologies such as electronic prescription, telecommunication, virtual check-up and medicine, education services, delivery of medicine and remote monitoring are important in current world (Krupinski & Bernard, 2014). As a result, telemedicine and its related topics need to be discussed along with their advantages and disadvantages to provide better delivery care. 

Impact of Telemedicine on Nursing Practice

There are different types of telemedicine services offered including Telepsychiatry, Teledermatology, Teleophthalmology, Teleoncology, Teleobsterics, Telerehabilitation and other services. It is evident that every field in nursing has telemedicine services in it. Family nurse practitioners practice under challenging conditions. Nurses have to monitor the vital signs of patients and provide proper care (Kvedar, Coye & Everett, 2014). Whenever there is an emergency, nurses need to react quickly. By using telemedicine, physicians and other healthcare professionals can assist nurses in providing quick care (Weinstein et al., 2014). Delivering care in remote areas is a major issue. 

NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Nurses and physicians will use technologies to provide initial assessment and guidance to patients. Nurses practice change considerably as they need to understand the technologies and use them to provide the care. Nurses can diagnose the patients early and this results in reduced cost of health care as patient is treated quickly. Educating patients and monitoring the rehabilitation of patients can reduce hospital readmission (Kvedar, Coye & Everett, 2014). Telehealth has reduced mortality rates in health care and it helps in reducing complications. Further, home monitoring can reduce the cost of care and crowd in hospitals. 

Community programs are important aspects of telemedicine as health care professionals can directly connect to the community (Weinstein et al., 2014). It also empowers patients to actively participate in health delivery as reduced travel time, better recording of objective and subjective data, real-time monitoring and electronic prescribing increase patient safety (Krupinski & Bernard, 2014). Nurses need to stay skilled and their knowledge of technology needs to be up to date so that there is no delay in care delivery. Telehealth ICUs or eICUs reduce mortality rates by 12 – 30% and also reduces stay of patients. However, nurses face different issues in telemedicine delivery (Weinstein et al., 2014). As a result, they need to follow guidelines to reduce complexities and barriers they face in delivering quality care. 

Decision-making is a major aspect of telemedicine delivery. For example, wrong diagnosis can lead to major issues. Nurses need to take decisions by collaborating with other professionals. This is a major challenge as it includes patient’s security (Taylor et al., 2014). Further, ethics-related issues such as illegal or misinformed electronic prescription is another major problem. Due to different practice restrictions in different states, nurses will face cross-state licensure issues where legal and regulatory guidelines need to be followed properly. Failure to do may result in license cancellation. 

NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Patient-physician and patient-nurse relationships aids in quick recovery. Telemedicine lacks this aspect of nursing practice. Nurses and patients have to take extra efforts such as periodic monitoring and data sharing to establish better relationships (Taylor et al., 2014). This leads to another major in privacy and security. Patient data needs to be secured and nurses have to make sure no information is out for public access. Further, trust is a major issue where credentialing and privileging can play a vital role in inpatient care. Medical malpractice concerns are high in telemedicine as patients might not get right or complete information. Nurses need to study legal and regulatory standards to deliver care through telemedicine (Krupinski & Bernard, 2014). 

Nurse’s Informatics Skills and Knowledge

Telemedicine is based on technology and it includes information management, remote delivery of care, technical knowledge, communication skills, interprofessional collaboration, and legal and regulatory aspects. Patient information collection and management through Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs) reduces the risk of privacy and security (Weinstein et al., 2014). Nurses who have knowledge about cross-state practice regulations can analyze the restrictions to provide care effectively. Computer knowledge is necessary for handling technological tools and communication tools to enhance quality of care. Further, documenting patient progress and reporting the outcome helps in better case studies. Also, educating patients and families through guidelines, action plans and self-management are part of nursing informatics. Nurses can coordinate with families to provide patient-centered care, which results in better outcomes (Taylor et al., 2014). 

NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Conclusion

Telemedicine is a major part of health care as it reduces many of the complexities in health care including access to health care, delivery of health services, faster communication, reducing health care costs, faster diagnosis, quality of care, remote monitoring and electronic prescribing. Telemedicine has a positive impact on nurses in these aspects. However, nurses also face issues such as cross-state regulation issues, security, confidentiality and privacy, lower levels of patient-nurse relationship, legal issues and regulatory standards. By utilizing knowledge, informatics, skills and following guidelines, barriers can be removed. The right use of telemedicine helps in reducing hospital crowd as nurse shortage is a major issue in the USA. 

References

Krupinski, E., & Bernard, J. (2014). Standards and Guidelines in Telemedicine and Telehealth. Healthcare2(1), 74-93. doi: 10.3390/healthcare2010074

Kvedar, J., Coye, M., & Everett, W. (2014). Connected Health: A Review Of Technologies And Strategies To Improve Patient Care With Telemedicine And Telehealth. Health Affairs33(2), 194-199. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0992

NR 512 Week 5 HealthIT Topic of Week Assignment

Taylor, J., Coates, E., Brewster, L., Mountain, G., Wessels, B., & Hawley, M. (2014). Examining the use of telehealth in community nursing: identifying the factors affecting frontline staff acceptance and telehealth adoption. Journal Of Advanced Nursing71(2), 326-337. doi: 10.1111/jan.12480

Weinstein, R., Lopez, A., Joseph, B., Erps, K., Holcomb, M., Barker, G., & Krupinski, E. (2014). Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Mobile Health Applications That Work: Opportunities and Barriers. The American Journal Of Medicine127(3), 183-187. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.09.032

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