Free «Telenursing: Is It in My Future?» UK Essay Paper
Development of new technologies and communication systems has overwhelmed the world. The information revolution has produced an essential effect on every part of human life, and health care sphere is not an exception. The integration of information technologies in this field has finally led to occurrence of such notion as telenursing. It refers to the application of telecommunication technologies for the fulfillment of the nursing purposes. That technology presupposes provision of nursing pieces of advice, professional assistance, or support through the electronic communication and information technologies. Telenursing turns out to be rather effective for the distant medical facilities, where it is problematic to reach the patients personally. The current paper aims at analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of telenursing and understanding its usefulness for the future healthcare practice.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Telenursing from Nursing Perspective
Easy Access to Health Data
Telenursing is a cost-effective health delivery system, which assists the nurses to provide easy access to health care to their patients and extend the domain of nursing practice. The first advantage to be mentioned is the access to the extended scope of data in quick and efficient form. Telenursing presupposes the use of electronic health records, and it is one of the benefits for nurses. According to Jarousse (2012), it brings to health care professionals relief. Murphy (2010) supported this idea and emphasized that meaningful information technologies provide great advantage to nurses as they transform them from the disconnected, inefficient and paper-based islands to advanced HIT innovation. In such a way, application of information technologies assists nursing to save their precious time to find the necessary piece of information much quicker.
Counselling is another advantage, which has to be mentioned. Eren and Webster (2016) have investigated the issue of telenursing and have come to the conclusion that it is rather efficient when it comes to antenatal care. Telenursing assists in providing counseling to young parents in a time and cost-efficient way. In certain cases, the nurse is unable to come to the patients, thus telenursing becomes an advantageous option here. For instance, it could be applied in such countries as Malaysia, Vietnam, and Zambia. There, people have limited access to health care, and information technologies counselling might assist the young mothers to obtain useful pieces of advice from medical practitioners. Eren and Webster (2016) mentioned the situation in Malaysia where telenursing assisted in promotion of lactation and resulted in breast-feeding increase, which finally diminished the mortality rates among infants.
It has to be assumed that for the vulnerable patients transition from the health care setting to home often becomes rather treacherous. Kind et al. (2012) discussed the situation when the veteran patients experience the geographic challenge after returning from hospital. In this case, the transitional programs have to be applied though they are not always appropriate. Kind et al. (2012) proposed the C-TraC phone based program as an alternative, which could assist the nurse to coordinate the posthospitalization stage of the veteran patients. From the nursingperspective, this program seems to be rather effective as it assists the health care nurses to provide high quality care. Eren and Webster (2016) mentioned the application of telenursing programs for the patients, suffering from the heart failure, and emphasized patients who daily receive the self-management tips based on the self-reporting of symptoms find less readmissions. In such a way, telenursing helps the professional nurses to improve the health treatment outcome. Moreover, it preserves the physical resources of the health care professionals as they become deprived of the necessity to travel long distances in order to visit the patient. Thus, nurses get the possibility to accumulate their physical resources and conduct the bigger scope of work.
The errors in data are one of the most essential disadvantages of telenursing. They can lead to nursing mistakes, wrong administration of medications, and wrong prescriptions. Moreover, it often turns out to be rather problematic to understand who was guilty in the wrong data provision.
Mistakes in Self-Reporting Symptoms
The key idea of telenursing is that the patient takes an active part in the observation process. He should state the health care nurse his symptoms and obtain useful tips and pieces of advice. However, wrong statement of the symptoms might result in mistakes in diagnosis, and it can lead to a number of problems.
Absence of Telecommunication Devices
Absence of telecommunication devices is one of the major disadvantages as it diminishes the efficiency of telenursing. When patients are unaware of how to use these devices, a number of problems occur since they are unable to state their symptoms and explain the nurse their health troubles.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Telenursing from the Patient’s Perspective
This is one of the most essential benefits which the patients obtain. They receive a possibility to get the constant conventional ‘visits’ of the nurses, and control their health state. They acquire an opportunity to get frequent consultations and pieces of advice to promote their health.
It is another example to be mentioned. Eren and Webster (2016) confirmed that telenursing reduces the number of health care visits by over 60%. It is a significant advantage since in such a way, health care becomes really affordable for the patients and increases the level of their satisfaction.
Misinterpretation of the Advice
It is the major disadvantage from the perspective of potential patients. In certain cases, patients are unable to perceive the nurses’ pieces of advice in a right way, and it results in the reduction of health care quality. For instance, when the hypertensive patients are treated by the telenurses, the misinterpreted pieces of advice might lead to drastic negative consequences.
Breach of Confidentiality
It should be stated that one of the disadvantages is the possibility of breach of confidentiality. The thing is that while talking with the patient, the nurse could accidentally misinterpret the voices and reveeal certain data not to the patient but to his relatives or people who surround the patient. This may have a number of negative effects, and drastically reduce the patient’s satisfaction level.
Preservation of the patient’s personal history in electronic database poses a threat of possible data insecurity. When the database protection is overcome, the patients’ personal data might become the public knowledge. It is a serious disadvantage, especially in case, when the patients are well-known people or celebrities.
Telenursing is a beneficial and rather efficient practice, but it contains a number of challenges which have to be taken into account. They include preservation of confidentiality and the patient’s right to privacy as well as following the legal requirements and retaining the data security. Confidentiality, security, and privacy are extremely significant when it comes to data transmission with the help of technologies (Nelson & Staggers, 2014). Telenursing should follow the same requirements for ensuring that these things for in-person care.
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Moreover, the health care practitioners have to take into account the fact that their application of telehealth technologies does not alter their inherent standards which relate to patient’s ethics, scope of practice, and legalities of practice. The nurse is obliged to follow the general principles of code of ethics while working in the scope of telenursing. Application of technological devices should not alter the nursing mission and work standards. In order to provide the qualitative, efficient, and truly beneficial care with the help of telehealth technology, the health care employees have to start special education, training, and technical support necessary for the right application of telehealth technologies. Moreover, it should be also noted that documentation in telehealth has paramount importance. For that reason, the nurse is obliged to follow all the existing guidelines which are generally applied in the in-person care.
The research has confirmed that telenursing is a truly efficient nursing system which allows quick and efficient access to patient and qualitative counselling from the health care practitioner. It really assists the nurses to make the home stay of their patients more secure. Telenursing helps to track the health state of the patients and provides them with useful pieces of advice, which could help to make their home treatment or posthospitalization more efficient. However, it should be also noted that telenursing is not a panacea. It assists nurses and patients to save their time and finances, but it still demands face-to-face visits. Moreover, it needs further improvement, counselling, and behavior modification since there are still a number of challenges which should be resolved. The most essential thing is understanding that telenursing presupposes the same standards, rules, laws, and ethical regulations, as in standard nursing practice. The nurses should remember that it does not alter the existing vision of such issues as security, confidentiality, and privacy. The general evaluation has shown that telenursing is a useful complementary practice which improves the patients’ satisfaction and outcomes of health treatment. Therefore, it will definitely occupy the significant place in future.
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