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Pros and Cons of Telehealth Nursing

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Telehealth has provided many people access to the healthcare they might not have otherwise received. It has helped decrease hospital readmission rates following surgeries and heart failure episodes. Telenursing plays a prominent role in facilitating telehealth services and in supporting primary care physicians. If you are wondering, “what is telenursing service?”, this article is for you.

What is Telehealth Nursing?

Telehealth nursing refers to using digital technology to care for patients remotely. In telehealth nursing, nurse practitioners and registered nurses provide virtual healthcare.

What is the difference between Telehealth and Telenursing?

Telehealth is a broader term that refers to patient care provided remotely using digital healthcare technology. The term telehealth includes telenursing, but it is not explicitly provided by nurses and nurse practitioners.

How is Telenursing used in healthcare?

One way in which healthcare professionals use telenursing is remote patient monitoring. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) allows nurses to remotely monitor their telehealth patients’ vital signs through devices such as heart monitors, thermometers, stethoscopes, and sphygmomanometers.

Remote patient monitoring has proven especially useful in post-op situations. In a Resource Center study, telehealth played an important role in reducing the hospital readmission rate from 20% to under 4% for heart failures. In this way, telenursing allows providers to offer a higher level of patient care.

Additionally, nurses can perform telenursing using live video conferencing. A nurse can use a live video appointment to guide a patient through pre-operation preparation. Nurses also use telenursing to examine photos or videos of patient rashes, moles, etc.

Also, nurses often perform telenursing using a web or mobile applications. Telehealth patients can easily communicate with their nurses if they have access to smartphones and high-speed internet.

What is facilitated in Telenursing and Telehealth?

In telenursing and telehealth, healthcare professionals facilitate health and health-related services. Telehealth facilitates patient care, patient education, and self-care through digital communication technologies, telecommunications, and remote monitoring devices.

What are the pros of Telehealth nursing?

  • Telehealth nursing ensures telehealth patients have better access to quality care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Telehealth nursing can prevent telehealth patients from contracting an infection while in the clinic. Since patients access care virtually, they avoid contact with those suffering from a contagious illness – a valuable asset throughout the pandemic.
  • Telehealth nursing allows telehealth patients and their healthcare providers to manage chronic conditions more straightforwardly and accurately. Aside from telehealth appointments, patients can receive remote patient monitoring through a variety of technological devices.
  • Telehealth patients and clinic staff save time through telehealth nursing services by eliminating the commute to and from the clinic. Plus, patients can communicate with their nurse and receive answers to their questions more quickly. Avoiding the time spent in a waiting room saves patients and staff additional time.
  • Senior citizens can take fewer trips to the hospital and urgent care center because they can connect with their doctor or nurse from home.
  • Telehealth nursing allows telehealth patients to save money which they would otherwise spend on medical claims, time, and transportation to and from the clinic.
  • Patients can have consultations or schedule appointments with doctors and nurse practitioners on holidays, nights, and weekends.
  • Telehealth patients’ caregivers and family members can connect with their doctor or nurse practitioner to receive updates on their loved ones’ health conditions.
  • Integrating telehealth into your medical practice makes you at par with other clinics in your area providing telehealth services.

What are the cons of Telehealth Nursing?

  • Technology barriers since not everyone has access to the required technology. Additionally, rural areas might not always have access to reliable internet connections. Another technology barrier in telehealth nursing is that not everyone has a computer or smartphone.
  • Medical professionals cannot use telenursing in every situation. Some health issues require an in-person visit with a physician who can provide a hands-on examination. For instance, nurses must perform throat swabs in person.
  • Telehealth nursing sometimes might reduce the continuity of care since the patient might have a different doctor or nurse practitioner at every appointment. Plus, telehealth patients might want to avoid in-person appointments with their primary care physician leading to medical issues left undiagnosed or treated.
  • Sometimes, reimbursement is inconsistent, or the patient might experience other issues with their insurance.
  • Using technology might create an uncomfortable experience for senior citizens, causing barriers to care. · Some technology might be foreign to the clinic staff. However, it is wise to hire an IT professional, and your telehealth vendor will most likely provide staff training. Hence, staff members understand how to properly use the telehealth software and any devices you might employ.

The key takeaway is telenursing is a vital component of healthcare and provides many benefits to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, clinic staff, and patients. While there may be some roadblocks to telehealth, your practice and patients can likely overcome most of them easily.

If you want to learn more about our telehealth solutions, check out our comprehensive standalone telehealth solutions. Also, check out our blog for more information about telehealth