Telehealth is the utilization of modern information and communication technology, such as computers, to gain accessibility to health care services from a remote location and to oversee the treatment of persons (Muzammil, 2020). Patients living in more remote places, for example, benefit from improved chronic disease management provided by telehealth systems. The selected telehealth technology for an institution or practice environment is remote patient monitoring technology. This technology encompasses the use of modern technologies to track and collect medical information from clients and digitally transfer this information to physicians for evaluation and if needed, suggestions and guidance.
Relevance and Importance
The identification of areas in which an organization may be lacking in its ability to meet the requirements of patients is one of the primary purposes of a needs assessment. The organization will be able to plan for a variety of programs if it first identifies any deficiencies. The scope of a project as well as the outcomes that are intended can be determined through the evaluation. The process of making decisions can also be improved by doing a requirements assessment because it allows for the acquisition of pertinent information regarding a project. In addition, the assessment process can be used to determine which of a community’s needs are the most urgent. However, data security is a major issue that needs to be addressed across the board in the healthcare industry today. The transmission of clients’ data as well as its security have to be thoroughly evaluated in order to guarantee that patients’ data will not be made public.
Key Issues That the Technology Will Address
The application of technology to the promotion and support of patients located in remote places is what constitutes telehealth. Patients who live in rural or otherwise inaccessible places have a more difficult time getting to medical facilities for a variety of reasons. Because of this, the utilization of remote patient monitoring technology will make it possible for caregivers to interact with patients regardless of the geographic distance between them. Many hospitals and other medical centres make use of video conferencing as part of their normal implementation of telehealth technologies. The quality of healthcare institutions in more remote places, as well as accessibility to those institutions, has increased because of telehealth. This technology has also addressed issues such as communication, responsiveness, and monitoring in medical systems, which has led to a better overall experience for patients. Patients who need medical care can now get it without having to make as many trips as possible due to the advancements in technology.
Safety Requirements and Regulatory Considerations
Healthcare organizations need to first obtain a license from the state before it can begin to implement telehealth. This change has however been a barrier to both the accessibility and the usage of telehealth services. The acquisition of a portable license is difficult, becoming a major impediment for the industry as a whole (Pirtle et al., 2019). Despite the regulations and difficulty of obtaining the license, the healthcare industry mostly hospitals, insurance companies, and private providers who are end-users of the technology together with clients find it cost-effective, efficient, easily accessible, and timesaving. For example, during the pandemic, the technology or upgrade of this new system played a very important role between health care providers and patients. The patient and the provider can interact in a safe environment without interrupting care. Even though the benefit of new technology in the health system is tremendous, there are several safety and regulatory aspects that must be taken into consideration when providing telehealth services to patients. These include informing patients of the benefits and risks of telehealth, ensuring that health files are sent to all of the client’s caregivers, and requiring in-person assessments. Although these practice standards may have been developed with the best of intentions, they frequently limit the capacity of clinicians to improvise in the delivery of health care. In addition, it is quite feasible to comply with all of the telehealth practice standards, but still fall short in terms of providing services that are in line with the standards of practice (and vice versa). However, caregivers are required to understand, and continue to comply with, state practice standards. If they do not, they risk facing sanctions from their state’s board of health.
Patient Confidentiality and Privacy Protections
This technology raises several security concerns, including the possibility of identity theft (Whitlow & Wallace, 2019). Because of the lack of confidentiality, individuals experience a great deal of anxiety because of these difficulties, which are on the rise in the nursing field. Most healthcare facilities, on the other hand, are making efforts to provide safety measures for patient data. Technology should be used to resolve concerns regarding anonymity and data protection, as required by the legislation. To solve these difficulties, the utilization of usernames and passwords will become obligatory. Before being permitted to log into the system, clients would be expected to provide their login credentials, which may take the form of one-of-a-kind passwords.
Before moving further with the adoption of telehealth, it is important to consider the interests of all stakeholders. Clients, caregivers, and doctors are examples of some of the most important internal stakeholders. Technology will make it easier to provide clients with high-quality care, which will benefit everyone involved. For example, nurses and doctors can readily access the patients regardless of location. This technology will assist the nurse to promote quality of patient care by maintaining the scope of practice nurse able to communicate with patients by videoconferencing, remotely monitor patients via Bluetooth stethoscopes and high-definition cameras to collect data, assess patients in remote areas, and provide continuity of care (Rutledge&Gustin, 2021). This technology will assist the nurse to promote quality of patient care, by Staff members will have the ability to aid clients located in outlying places. The client, who is the end-user, will have improved access to medical care with reduced costs as a result. Therefore, the utilization of telehealth will result in an enhancement of the patients’ health. These stakeholders also have an impact on the decision-making processes when it comes to implementing changes within the business. They make certain that the workplace conditions of the institution are kept lively, interesting, and fulfilling, and that there are favorable working circumstances available inside the organization in order to ensure that the company is able to function effectively. Establishing and maintaining a supportive environment for the implementation of new policies and procedures will help stakeholders participate in the long-term vision of transformation. Communication prior to the project’s initial announcement is one way to accomplish this. Effectively executing change, involvement of workers, and conveying change effectively are approaches to overcoming resistance to change.
Arguments and Recommendations
As a result of the use of telehealth, healthcare services might be more accessible and affordable for individuals. Telehealth, on the other hand, is not without its downsides. For example, client data security remains an issue. Telehealth is also very expensive to implement, establish, and manage (Muhammad, 2022). Some patients, however, are hesitant to use the system because they are concerned about their privacy being violated (Albanese et al., 2020). Because of this, it is important to implement safeguards and educate both health care providers and all stakeholders including patients on safety measures. Safeguards like implementing health information security policies and developing new ones to address new risks, updating health information security, and staff training. In addition, it is important to monitor and effectiveness of the safeguards in place and regularly assess the information technology environment to understand if new risks are present. Which is ongoing monitoring and adjusting and implementation of new safeguards or existing safeguards is important.
In conclusion, telemedicine not only helps better patients’ conditions but also furthers the advancement of healthcare services. As a result, it is imperative that the technology be utilized so as to save the lives of individuals. The public ought to be fully informed about its benefits, and therefore, it ought to be motivated to put those benefits into practice.
Albanese, S., Yin, E., & Timmons, S. (2020). Interstate Telehealth Policy and Provider Incentives: Recommendations to Combat Historically Low Physician Acceptance of Medicaid Patients. Telehealth And Medicine Today, 5. https://doi.org/10.30953/tmt.v5.182
Muhammad, A. (2022). Telehealth and Medicine Today 2020 Editors Best Article Award. Telehealth And Medicine Today. https://doi.org/10.30953/tmt.v7.336
Muzammil, S. (2020). Telehealth: Is It Only for the Rural Areas? A Review of Its Wider Use. Telehealth And Medicine Today, 5. https://doi.org/10.30953/tmt.v5.162
Pirtle, C., Payne, K., & Drolet, B. (2019). Telehealth: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Success. Telehealth And Medicine Today, 4. https://doi.org/10.30953/tmt.v4.144
Ramya, M. (2020). IOT and Cloud Based Remote Patient Health Monitoring System. International Journal For Research In Applied Science And Engineering Technology, 8(5), 2745-2749. https://doi.org/10.22214/ijraset.2020.5461
Whitlow, M., & Wallace, E. (2019). Remote Patient Monitoring: An Important Tool in Advancing Home Dialysis. Kidney Medicine, 1(6), 327-328. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xkme.2019.10.002
Rutledge, C., & Gustin, T. (2021). Preparing nurses for roles in telehealth: Now is the time! OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 26(1). https://doi.org/10.3912/ojin.vol26no01man03