Telehealth and how It Can be used in Nursing Education

Telehealth and how It Can be used in Nursing Education

Telehealth and how It Can be used in Nursing Education Sample Paper

Telehealth is one of the emerging innovations that have improved how healthcare providers are delivering health care to patients. Telehealth is a form of technology that allows healthcare providers to engage with their patients electronically or virtually when they are at different locations (Reference). Telehealth and how It Can be used in Nursing EducationThe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) made healthcare organizations understand the need to integrate telehealth due to the increased need to reduce contact between healthcare providers and patients (Reference). The rapid rate of telehealth integration by health systems also calls for the need to train nurses who can effectively use the technology to deliver health care to patients.  Nurse educators need to understand the importance of telehealth and strive to help nursing students understand the same. They should also know the important teaching points to focus on during training to ensure that they instill the right knowledge and skills in the learners (Reference). It is highly imperative the nurse educators understand changes in technological trends in the healthcare industry to be able to teach relevant concepts to nursing students.

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Important Points for Nurse Educators

Nurse educators who are aspiring to teach future nurses about telehealth should receive adequate training to prepare themselves for the role. They must first learn how to use the technology before applying their knowledge to the learners to provide them with the best educational experience (Reference). According to Health Recovery Solutions, the initial step towards teaching students how to use telehealth entails developing a curriculum that encourages learning. Nurse educators must understand that the types of exchanges that telehealth offers are quite different from those that occur during face-to-face interaction (Reference). For example, as opposed to meeting one another in the same physical environment during face-to-face interaction, telehealth utilizes a digital screen, separating the patient from the provider in a virtual platform. Therefore, the nurse educator is charged with the responsibility of designing telehealth training programs in a manner that will teach students how to effectively utilize the technology to improve patient engagement and outcomes in the digital environment (Reference). Additionally, registered nurses who want to become nurse educators should ensure that they receive telehealth training during their educational advancement journey.

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Importance of Telehealth

Telehealth is of great importance in today’s healthcare environment. According to ( Reference), health disparity is a big problem in the United States especially among rural dwellers who are unable to access healthcare services. The problem of reduced health care access of fueled by the shortage of healthcare professionals (Reference). The rapid integration of telehealth by health systems helps to address health disparities by increasing health care access to patients, families, and communities in rural areas. With the existence of telehealth, patients can engage their healthcare providers virtually without having to travel to healthcare facilities. Additionally, multidisciplinary teams can share opinions regarding a patient’s case and agree regarding the best interventions to implement to solve a patient’s problems (Reference). Therefore, it is evident that today’s training programs for nurses must incorporate telehealth training to prepare professionals who can provide timely, efficient and patient-centered care to patients.

The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) supports the need for registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses to receive telehealth training. In 2018, the agency recommended that nursing institutions should integrate telehealth education into their curricula (Reference). The relevant competencies that telehealth training is expected to offer include; an understanding of the benefits of telehealth, how to use telehealth to deliver efficient, safe, and patient-centered care, as well as privacy and security issues surrounding the use of telehealth among other facets of the technology (Reference). Notably, professionalism is a key requirement in ensuring that nurses effectively implement telehealth.

Equipping nurse practitioners with telehealth knowledge and skills empowers them to be creative and be able to apply the technology not only to improve patients’ outcomes but also to strengthen health systems. As frontline healthcare workers, nurse practitioners can utilize telehealth to shape and transform the healthcare delivery process (Reference). In this respect, telehealth education programs for nurse practitioners should be designed in such a way that they will prepare the professionals to respond to the challenges that they encounter when delivering patient care and to promote innovation using the technology (Reference). The COVID-19 pandemic has helped health systems to learn how important it is to integrate telehealth.

Areas to Focus on When Teaching Telehealth

Nurse educators should be aware of the important teaching points that they should focus on when training students about telehealth. According to Health Recovery Solutions, there are important aspects of telehealth that nurse educators should inform students about during training. These areas include privacy, virtual exams, and remote monitoring (Reference). Nursing students must be trained on how to maintain privacy when handling personal medical information using telehealth. Additionally, it is important to teach nursing students about virtual exams to equip them with the knowledge and skills to read patients’ appearance and body language during virtual meetings. Besides, it is important to teach nursing students how they can remotely track their patients using telehealth on a daily basis (Reference). It is worthwhile noting that the most important thing that the nurse educator should strive to achieve is to ensure that students learn the basics that they need to use telehealth effectively to deliver patient care.

Teaching Telehealth Training

As rapid technological advancements continue to shape health care delivery, today and future nurses need to be trained on how to use various technologies to deliver efficient and safe patient care. Nurses must learn how to use telehealth in order to remain relevant in the future healthcare environment (Reference). In this regard, nurse educators should strive to advance the nursing practice through telehealth by ensuring that they remain creative and innovative. Again, they should be adequately informed about the technological changes that are taking place in the healthcare industry and use the information to design educational programs aimed at teaching nurses how to use those technologies (Reference).

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Conclusion

Telehealth is a form of technology that allows healthcare providers to engage with their patients electronically or virtually when they are at different locations. The technology has helped to increase healthcare access to patients in rural areas. As healthcare organizations continue to integrate telehealth at a rapid rate, there is a need to train nurses on how to use the technology. Nurse educators need to understand the importance of telehealth and how to implement it in order to offer the best training to nursing students. The important aspects of telehealth that nurse educators should inform students about during training include privacy, virtual exams, and remote monitoring. Essentially, nurse educators should be adequately informed about the technological changes that are taking place in the healthcare industry and use the information to design educational programs aimed at teaching nurses how to use those technologies for the betterment of patients’ health.

References

The list of references follows.

What is the difference between Telehealth and Telemedicine?

Explore the difference between telemedicine and telehealth and address when it is appropriate to use each of these by addressing the benefits and limitations of each.

Telehealth refers to the delivery and the facilitation of healthcare services such as health information services, medical care, patient education, and self-care using telecommunications and digital communication technologies (Neville, 2018). Telehealth represents a broader range of digital healthcare services and activities. On the other hand, telemedicine refers to the remote diagnoses and treatment of patients using telecommunications technology. Telemedicine, therefore, encompasses the use of telecommunication systems to provide healthcare services to patients living in remote areas or those geographically separated from their physicians by distance (Rheuban, Shanahan, & Willson, 2014). Therefore, while telemedicine refers directly to the practice of medicine via remote means, telehealth is a term that covers all the components and activities that are facilitated through telecommunications technology.

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The benefits of telehealth include convenience, cost-efficacy, less time in waiting rooms, and overall convenience. It is important to acknowledge that the use of emerging technologies in healthcare is likely to result in better healthcare provision and increased access to medical services among the populations. The limitations of telehealth include technological hitches, and poor interoperability, which could hinder the provision of planned care.

The benefits of telemedicine include but not limited to cost efficiency, enhanced self-care, increased patient satisfaction, and improved patient engagement. Telemedicine ensures that populations living in remote areas have access to quality and timely healthcare services through telemedicine mediums like videoconferencing, mobile phones among others (Rheuban et al., 2014). However, telemedicine has limitations, which range from inadequate physician assessment, technological glitches especially related to signal in remote areas as well as inadequate frameworks to support the adoption of the technologies in the provision of healthcare services. Both telemedicine and telehealth have had a significant impact on the healthcare sector by boosting access to healthcare services and overall improvement of patient outcomes.

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Assignment Content

The shortage of nurses in the U.S. is likely to get worse in the coming years due in part to the declining nurse workforce and the aging population. Making this shortage even more critical is that as the population of adults past retirement grows, so does the demand for nursing services. Advancing telecommunication technologies make newer health care technology solutions, such as telehealth, a promising way to fill this gap. In this assignment, you will examine the barriers impeding widespread telehealth implementation and explore how these barriers can be overcome.

Examine how telehealth implementation can be impeded by the following:

· Practice restrictions imposed by licensing bodies

· Reimbursement policies

· Missing or diminished holistic social interaction and emotional support that were originally provided by nurses in person

Explore possibilities for overcoming the barriers listed above.

Format your assignment as one of the following:

525- to 700-word paper
In this assignment:
· Summarize the current impact of the barriers above.

· Synthesize available information to show what efforts are being made to overcome these barriers in the near future.

Provide two references and format according to APA guidelines.

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The nursing shortage is a critical health care issue in the United States that is likely to persist for a longer period of time if proper actions are not taken to create a balance between the number of nurses and demand for health care. As the workforce continues to decline and the aging population gets to retirement, the demand for nursing services continues to rise, putting an additional strain on the already compromised nursing workforce (Vassilev et al., 2015). Technological advancements such as telehealth tend to become promising ways to address the problem of the nursing shortage. However, a number of factors act as barriers to widespread telehealth implementation (Fathi, Modin, & Scott, 2017). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the barriers that hinder the widespread implementation of telehealth and the strategies that are applied to overcome them. The United States government should consider implementing strategies that will ensure the successful adoption of telehealth to help increase access to nursing services.

Practice restrictions that are imposed by licensing bodies prevent the successful implementation of telehealth because they constrain service delivery to patients using the new technology. Many states of the United States have imposed licensing and credentialing regulations that prohibit nurses from delivering various nursing services without physician supervision. For instance, in states where there are practice restrictions, nurses are not allowed to prescribe drugs and make referrals yet these are the primary issues that telehealth was meant to address (Fathi, Modin, & Scott, 2017). Such restrictions do not recognize nurses as educationally and professionally trained persons who, as physicians, can use telehealth to increase healthcare access for populations.

Reimbursement policies have been identified as major barriers to the successful implementation of telehealth services. The Benefits Improvement and Protection Act, in 2000, expanded coverage for telehealth services under the Medicare Program. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) does not make full reimbursement as directed by law (Fathi, Modin, & Scott, 2017). The Affordable Care Act still poses limitations on a number of services including; types of communication to be conducted using telehealth (asynchronous versus synchronous), the patient’s area of residence, the patient’s physical location, and physician licensure xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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