Friday, May 13, 2016

The Gains Of Telehealth Nursing

By John Roberts

There are no doubts that the world has finally reached the digital era. You can barely find any industry that does not rely on technology to offer its services. Among the various industries that continue to benefit from the advances of technology, the health sector is arguably the biggest beneficiary. With various innovations like telehealth nursing, no one can dispute the significant role technology has in that sector.

Today, health care providers are in a better job environment than what was there a few decades ago. There are numerous telemedicine technologies available to them that make it easy to provide services. Those benefits are not just being felt by the health care providers, but recipients of their services as well. While it is debatable on whether this can be applied on a larger scale, the gains already made cannot be ignored.

You will be surprised that nursing has become one of the occupations that have recorded the fastest growth in this era. This is according to the studies by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is interesting to note however, that almost half of the registered nurses today will be retiring in a few years. This will leave a looming shortage of nurses in the health care industry.

This is coupled by the fact that close to half of the registered nurses are nearing their retirement age. The nursing positions available today are not just limited to the traditional hospital setup. More and more nurses are being recruited to provide ambulatory, long-term and home care. When all indications point to an environment of limited nurses, one can only hope that technology will help to fill those gaps.

For the world to realize an improvement in the quality of care, telemedicine has to be fully integrated in the health care industry. This can help foster better working environment by exposing nurses to newer ideas and skills all the time. Nurses will also get better access to opportunities in education, which will improve decision making, with better access to information and better documentation that will decrease charting time.

Before, it was very challenging for nurses to get their next opportunity to advance knowledge through educational opportunities. Having to apply for a study leave and spending all that time in school was somewhat inconveniencing. This is especially with the impending shortage in nursing professionals. However, they can now attend virtual classrooms using internet and make use of patient simulation models to practice, while still at their places of work.

One of the greatest concerns in the nursing industry was the time being spent on paperwork. Naturally, a nurse should spend most of their time attending to patients instead of doing paperwork. Telemedicine has made it possible for nurses to have improved charting efficiency by introducing user-friendly software programs.

Everyone wants to be in control and information gives you the power to have your identity. Telemedicine has made it possible for patients to access a lot of information about medical conditions and how they are treated. Even as they visit a health professional, the two can engage in fruitful discussions unlike the past where the health care provider was the ultimate solution.

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