Dr. remotely and manage a patient’s health

Dr. Zybell and class:TelehealthTechnology has the ability to improve the quality of healthcare and to make it accessible to more people. “Telehealth is the use of telecommunications technologies and electronic information to exchange healthcare information and to provide and support services such as long-distance clinical healthcare to clients”. (Hebda, 2013, p. 505) It involves the use of digital devices such as computers, fax machines, mobile devices, and televisions to access health care services remotely and manage a patient’s health care. “Tele” means at a distance. This is a relatively new trend in healthcare. Telehealth is being utilized by physicians, nurses and other healthcare specialties.  Often, it is more beneficial in some areas of healthcare than others. There are numerous capabilities in telehealth. It includes remote health monitoring, patient portals, patient health records, virtual capabilities, and even mobile device applications. These technology tools can make healthcare accessible for patients who are underserved, isolated, have limited mobility, or transportation issues. It not only provides patients access to specialists but can help coordinate and improve communication between the patient’s entire healthcare team. Another advantage is that it is often more convenient and patients can now become involved in overseeing their own healthcare for a better outcome. Telehealth nursing has legal, ethical and professional duties just as any other area of nursing has. We are still obligated to provide safe and appropriate care and developing knowledge and research in telehealth is essential to promote Evidenced-Based Practice in our profession. Telehealth in nursing includes but not limited to a nurse providing nursing care to a patient’s home via camera or computer, sending medical information via fax or computer, or phone call triaging. Privacy and confidentiality issues and medical errors can be problematic when transmitting patient information in this manner.  Knowing the policies,  procedures and guidelines of the organization can help protect a nurses actions. Being knowledgeable and following HIPPA can also help prevent privacy and confidentiality issues from occurring.  According to Yang, (2016) “telehealth in the United States is currently affected by laws and regulations at the federal and state levels and currently there is no uniform legal approach to telehealth, and this continues to be a major challenge in its provision”. Adequate documentation and knowing liabilities, state laws and regulations can reduce a nurses risk of unforeseen medical and legal issues. It is inevitably that technology has been transforming and altering healthcare as we have come to know it. The healthcare industry is connecting patients with their nurses, physicians and healthcare team, no matter the time or location. The expectation is that we are correctly and safely provide patients with access to care wherever they may be.Hebda, T., & Czar, P. (2013). Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals (5th ed.). Boston, MA, Pearson.Yang, T. (2016). Health Policy Brief: Telehealth Parity Laws. HealthAffairs , pg. 1-5. Retrieved January 30, 2018, from https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hpb20160815.244795/full/.