The internet has changed our lives in some previously unimaginable ways. It has offered us more ways to stay in touch with family and friends while exploring business opportunities outside our immediate environment. Today, patients use it to look up the symptoms of their illnesses and search for experts on the internet before deciding which professional to visit.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many people started exploring telehealth to stay on top of their health during lockdowns.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth uses communication technologies to access quality healthcare services remotely and manage health care; it uses mobile devices such as phones, tablets, and computers. Telehealth might also refer to technology your healthcare provider uses to improve healthcare services.
This service aims to improve the communication between patients and their healthcare team. It is also beneficial to patients with limited movement, perhaps due to ill health or a disease outbreak. Older adults do not need to worry about constant hospital visits if they have the right gadgets to make their lives easier.
Telehealth is one of the greatest gifts to modern nursing. Nurses don’t have to worry about physically attending to their patients the way they have in the past. One can access quality healthcare from the comfort of their home thanks to telehealth. Here are a few advantages of telehealth in modern nursing.
It improves access to care
Millions of Americans live far away from a hospital. Even those who live closer to these medical facilities might have a hard time accessing healthcare for many reasons. Those who live far away may not have immediate access to transportation, and a long wait might complicate issues. Telehealth eradicates all obstacles to accessing quality care. It also helps those who live in rural areas prevent disease progression and hospitalization. With telehealth, patients can access the best medical help regardless of their location.
It eases the nursing shortage
With the increasing number of diseases and aging patients worldwide, there can never be enough nurses. The outbreak of new diseases is only making shortages worse. Telehealth has helped with this shortage by balancing the workload. This technology helps nurses save time and energy while working more efficiently. For example, it facilitates more effective methods for educating patients about their care. This ensures that the nurse’s work is flexible and reduces the feeling of being overwhelmed.
If you are already a nurse and you’re looking to specialize in a certain field, family nurse practitioners are in high demand. An online master’s degree from Walsh University gives you the flexibility you need to further your education while remaining in your full-time job. This convenience makes the course more attractive.
It reduces costs
Telehealth not only improves efficiency; it saves healthcare facilities money that can be used for other purposes. On the part of the patients, telehealth visits lower childcare and travel expenses while reducing how much time they need to take off from work. Emergency room visits can be very expensive, but with this technology, some patients may be able to avoid the need to get costly urgent care in person.
It increases peace of mind
Telehealth allows nurses to monitor patients remotely. This means that they can track important health information, such as vital signs, outside of clinical settings. With technologies to monitor health remotely, nurses can keep tabs on patients who have been released from the hospital and monitor those who are at risk of a heart attack or stroke. Healthcare providers no longer need to worry about their patients being outside of their reach.
Although telehealth is a major breakthrough in modern medicine, it has some downsides worth considering. Nurses understand that telehealth has limitations, so they are open to other methods of accessing quality care. Here is a look at some of the downsides to telehealth.
Telehealth is perfect for people who have access to modern devices and can afford internet access, but what about those in rural communities across the globe? An individual cannot benefit from telehealth if they do not have internet-connected devices such as smartphones and internet service. In this sense, healthcare benefits only the privileged.
It is not ideal for every medical situation
Technology might provide a solution to some types of medical problems, but telehealth cannot address every type of illness or medical issue. When surgery is required, patients must visit the hospital for a physical examination and the operation itself. An individual must be physically assessed before their healthcare team can determine the best treatment for them.
Reduced continuity of care
Unlike offline consultations and care, telehealth allows patients to meet with different providers whenever they use the service. Although this does mean they can get different perspectives on their illness, it could end up causing confusion. Some may also become too reliant on these apps and skip important physical examinations. The distant relationship between healthcare providers and patients might reduce their chances of getting better, particularly in cases where certain ailments are not detected and remain untreated.
If you are a nurse or an aspiring nurse, you will need to have the skills and knowledge required to use telehealth effectively. No one expected the coronavirus outbreak of 2020, and the world had to adapt quickly to a new reality. Another pandemic might come in the near future, and updated technology might be required to surmount the challenges it poses. As you work toward upgrading your degree, consider a career that lets you function both online and offline.