Posted: October 18, 2021
A convenient option for giving and receiving care, telehealth services have grown in popularity over recent months. Although telehealth has been around for quite some time, the public health emergency has brought to light the importance of social distancing and increasing access to quality care. Telehealth makes it possible for providers to evaluate, diagnose, and treat a variety of conditions without coming into direct contact with the patient.
Telemedicine services are provided through a secure video conferencing platform, allowing providers to reach patients in rural and remote areas. Telemedicine reduces the number of no shows and improves outcomes for patients.
Telehealth nursing involves using telemedicine technology to give care remotely. Patients connect with nurses through HIPAA-compliant telehealth software. Depending on the role of the nurse and the practice, nurses may provide care, education, or counseling. Nurses provide the same services through telehealth as they would during an in-person visit. Because telehealth doesn’t require nurses to move from one room to the next, they can visit with more patients in less time than possible in a traditional office setting.
Although most people understand the general idea of telehealth nursing, the practice has evolved over recent years. Nurses evaluate patients to determine whether they require additional care. This has proven especially beneficial during the pandemic, as many patients are unsure whether to seek additional treatment for COVID-19 symptoms. Through a thorough evaluation, nurses can determine which patients require additional tests or an in-person visit. They can also safely monitor patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 without putting hospital staff or other patients at risk.
Nurses connect with patients through an Internet connection. This allows them to conduct appointments from their home, a doctor’s office, hospital, or other location. Patients that utilize telehealth do not need to travel or purchase telehealth software. Telehealth services can be given through a smart phone, computer, or other device.
Nurses frequently use telehealth equipment like telehealth kiosks and telemedicine carts to monitor patients in a hospital setting. Telehealth carts and kiosks allow patients to take their own vitals or speak with a nurse without having to leave their room. Nurses can easily use telehealth equipment to monitor patient heart rate, oxygen levels, respiration, blood glucose, and other important health metrics.
Nurses wishing to perform telehealth services must obtain a registered nurse license to practice in most states. They may also need to obtain special licensing to practice in multiple states. It’s important that nurses learn which state and federal laws apply to them.
As patients and providers turn to telehealth as a convenient option for giving and receiving care, it’s likely that practices that do not offer telehealth services will find it difficult to retain their clients. The American Telemedicine Association recently predicted that more than half of all healthcare services will be given virtually in ten years. As widespread adoption of telemedicine takes place, nurses will play an important role in evaluating and monitoring patients with acute and chronic conditions.
Let’s Talk Interactive offers telehealth software and telehealth equipment to providers across a wide range of industries. Please contact us for information about our HIPAA-compliant telehealth solutions.