While the entire medical industry has changed quite a bit over the last few years, the world of nursing has probably changed the most drastically and will continue to here in 2022.
While there are a ton of changes that should be talked about, we are going to focus on just one for this article – the emergence of telehealth nursing.
Telehealth might be a new term for many, so what does telehealth mean? Simply put, it is the action of providing care and advice while the provider and patient are not in the same room together. While most of us think that this primarily has impacted doctors, nurses are also now being asked to do much of their job via telehealth.
So how does this work and how can healthcare facilities make sure they are prepared to make this an easy process for nurses?
What is Telehealth Nursing?
While we have already defined what telehealth is, let’s talk about what it specifically means for nurses.
Nurses play such an important and critical role in our healthcare system. They are often the first and last person that a patient sees when they enter your facility for either a simple well appointment or for something much more specific. They are responsible for taking the initial notes about the patient, as well as checking the simple vital signs and triaging them so that the doctors can do their job more effectively
Now when it comes to telehealth, much of this stays the same. Nurses can now do the initial questioning of telehealth patients, ask about their symptoms, and make sure that your team has all the information before a telehealth appointment.
But it doesn’t stop there. Telehealth nursing also encompasses nurses’ lines where nurses are on call and can answer simple questions about medications, treatment plans, or symptoms so that the patients can get the information they need without needing a full appointment with a doctor as nurses are also trained to answer most medical-related questions. This takes the pressure off the doctors and allows nurses to provide amazing care to patients that might not need a full medical appointment.
Why Is Telehealth Nursing Important and What Are The Advantages?
The emergence of telehealth nursing is incredibly important in today’s medical world and has many advantages not just for your facility, but also for doctors, patients, and the nurses themselves.
The first clear advantage in today’s environment is with COVID-19 treatment. Most questions that patients have about COVID-19 can be answered by a nurse. This allows the patients to get much quicker answers to their questions without needing to come into your facility and possibly spread more infections.
On the opposite side. Telehealth nursing allows nurses that have tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot yet return to work to still contribute to the facility while still being able to quarantine and recover at home.
Easy Access To Help and Mobility
Both of these advantages during today’s COVID-19 environment don’t stop with the pandemic. The core advantages of easy access and being mobile with telehealth visits are still advantageous that will last long past the pandemic.
Studies have shown that 20% of all hospital visits could have been solved via telehealth. While that might not seem like a big number, reducing the number of patients by 20% could make or break a facility during busy times. For the patient, that means a far smaller hospital bill than they would have received with a trip to the ER while not losing anything in the way of their outcome.
Furthermore, telehealth nursing gives facilities access to different tools they might not have had before because nurses could answer patients’ questions from almost anywhere. This helps assist with things such as the nursing shortages we are seeing today. Overall, this means more resources and faster answers for patients with less of a strain on your facility’s resources.
What Technology Is Needed Or Useful In Telehealth Nursing?
While telehealth nursing seems like a no-brainer, it is not something that you can just start today without investing in the right technology to make the jobs of the nurses involved easier.
Telemedicine Exam Kits
One innovative solution that we are offering is our Telemedicine Exam Kits. These kits are specifically useful for home healthcare nurses and others that are on the move and visiting patients outside the facility. Making sure nurses have everything needed to be successful with their patient in one kit while also having the added benefit of telehealth technology helps them get the resources that they need in case they have an additional question out in the field.
Another application might be for places such as prisons, or retirement homes where they do not have instant access to a full medical team. Having a kit with a nurse on the other side of the line ready to ask questions could be a vital tool in making sure patients get the care they need.
Investing in your overall telehealth technology and program is also a great way to make sure not only nurses but your entire medical team have the technology they need to make patient care easier and reduce the number of people in your facility each day. We do this by helping you create medical technology carts that are unique to you and the needs of your patients!