Chamberlain College of Nursing
NR361: Information Systems in Healthcare
Nurses face new situations and challenges with today’s rapid growing information technology and telecommunication systems. Telehealth is a progressively advancing system that incorporates the use of technology to enhance patient care in the most effective and efficient way possible at a distance (Epidirippulige, 2010). Telenursing is a part of telehealth that is gaining significant growth as a subspecialty. “The use of remote patient monitoring, often referred to as telehealth, has been widely adopted by health care providers, particularly home care agencies” (Suter et al., 2011). Patients with chronic health diseases such as congestive heart failure (CHF) benefit from telehealth services. The use of Telenursing services can improve health outcomes, promote self-care through guidance and education, as well as decrease readmissions to the hospital and their related medical cost. Telenursing is emerging rather quickly due to the ongoing shortage of nurses globally. “New ways to manage chronic illness are imperative, especially as the population ages, chronic illness increases and the nursing shortage continues” (Bowles et al., 2009, p. 344). The purpose of my research is to provide information on the role of nursing in telehealth practices, the advantages and disadvantages for patients, as well as legal factors to consider when providing nursing care to patients with chronic illnesses within home health agencies. Telenursing is defined by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) as “the practice of nursing over distance using telecommunications technology” (American Telemedicine Association (ATA), 2008). A few examples of terms commonly used to refer to telehealth are: telenursing, telecare, telemonitoring, telehomecare and telemedicine (Artinian, 2007). All of which are “the provision of clinical care at a distance through the use of electronic communication and information technologies” (Artinian, 2007, p. 25). Telehealth services can be offered at doctor’s offices, hospitals, and within the patient’s home. Through the use of telephones, video, computers, and other monitoring equipment patients have the capability of receiving expert quality medical care. It allows patients the ability to feel comfortable knowing a health professional is monitoring their illness regularly and not only between doctor visits. The role of a Telenurse is a unique approach to nursing care and component of the telehealth system. “The nurse engages in the practice of nursing by interacting with a client at a remote site to electronically receive the client’s health status data, initiate and transmit therapeutic interventions and regimens, and monitor and record the client’s response and nursing care outcomes” (NCSBN Position Paper on Telenursing: A Challenge to Regulation, 1997). Telehealth nursing (THN) allows nurses to see more patients on a daily basis, while decreasing the over-all work load of the nurses on a unit due to understaffing issues. The nurse can accomplish this without leaving the hospital or doctor’s office, saving considerable amounts of time by using interactive telehealth equipment, allowing other health care professionals to focus on patients admitted with emergencies. Nurses have access to the patient’s health issues and provide education as well as counseling regarding their disease processes and management as they progress. Effective communication between the nurse, family and patient is a vital role for successful management of the disease process and for the encouragement of patient involvement with self-care. The availability of telehealth nursing offers numerous advantages to patients with chronic health diseases. More and more home care agencies are beginning to offer telehealth services due to the advantages in improvements in health care outcomes,...
References: American Telemedicine Association. (2008). Telehealth nursing: A white paper developed and accepted by the telehealth nursing special interest group.
Artinian, N. (2007). Telehealth as a tool for enhancing care for patients with cardiovascular disease. Journal Of Cardiovascular Nursing, 22(1), 25-31.
Bowles, K. H. (2010). Achieving meaningful use with information technology: telehealth research. Online Journal Of Nursing Informatics, 14(3).
Bowles, K. H., Holland, D. E., & Horowitz, D. A. (2009). A comparison of in-person home care, home care with telephone contact and home care with telemonitoring for disease management. Journal of telemedicine and telecare, 15(7), 344-350.
Edirippulige, S. (2010). Readiness of nurses for practicing telehealth. Studies In Health Technology & Informatics, 16149-56.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). (1997). Position Paper on Telenursing: A Challenge to Regulation. https://www.ncsbn.org/TelenursingPaper.pdf
Shea, K., & Chamoff, B. (2012). Telehomecare Communication and Self-Care in Chronic Conditions: Moving Toward a Shared Understanding. Worldviews On Evidence-Based Nursing, 9(2), 109-116. doi:10.1111/j.1741-6787.2012.00242.x
Suter, P., Suter, W., & Johnston, D. (2011). Theory-Based Telehealth and Patient Empowerment. Population Health Management, 14(2), 87-92. doi:10.1089/pop.2010.0013
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