Jennifer K. Harden
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Any nurse who has spoken to a patient over the phone has practiced telehealth nursing. Telehealth is defined as “the use of technology to deliver health care, health information or health education at a distance” ("What Is Telehealth?," n.d., para. 1). Although the use of technology changes how nursing care is delivered and may require competencies related to its use to deliver nursing care, the nursing process and scope of practice does not differ with telehealth nursing. Nurses engaged in telehealth nursing practice continue to assess, plan, intervene, and evaluate the outcomes of nursing care, but they do so using technology. In an environment of limited number of nurses, technology can help meet the need to provide nursing care and increase the efficiency of those nurses. When a patient leaves the hospital, the patient is responsible for his or her own health care at home. Telehealth services can make it more efficient to manage ongoing care and improve patient safety. Telehealth nursing is used when there is a need to deliver nursing care remotely and improve efficiency and access to healthcare. Telehealth offers healthcare providers with an opportunity to serve people who are in poor health, live in remote areas and do not have adequate access to health care. One of the major benefits of telehealth is that it promotes safety in healthcare. Patients are being discharged from the hospital earlier than ever before, with numerous medications and often lacking the knowledge they need to care for their condition adequately. Telehealth allows these patients to return home, which saves money, but allows them to be supported by a professional until they are well or are managing their condition with confidence. Telehealth provides a safety net for patients who may be struggling with managing their condition at home, preventing complications that could result in...
References: Hutcherson, MS, RN, C. M. (2001). Legal considerations for nurses practicing in a telehealth setting. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume62001/No3Sept01/LegalConsiderations.html
What is telehealth? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.hrsa.gov/healthit/toolbox/RuralHealthITtoolbox/Telehealth/whatistelehealth.html
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