Nursing Notes

April 28, 2010

Bill Boyne: Telemedicine can make big advances in health care

Filed under: Nursing — Shirley @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I am not sure what I think about the advent of telemedicine, but I know it is a change that is inevitable.  With all the technological  advances being made daily, there is simply no way that medicine via computer is not going to happen.

I fear that we will lose something in the transfer, hopefully we won’t lose the humanity.  There is a nursing shortage.  That is a fact.  There is a physician shortage.  That is another fact.  If technology can allow more people to be cared for with fewer doctors and nurses, then it will happen.  What I worry about is the actual hands on care that will be left up to the untrained or to the actual patient himself.  That, to me, would be unacceptable and a great loss for nursing.


We live in an era of dramatic advances in health care.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First, President Obama and others succeeded in passing a national health care reform bill that will make health care available to millions of people for the first time and will provide improved health care for millions of others.

Now, telemedicine — the next great reform — is beginning to be available and has the potential of making major advances in health care for everyone in the country.

According to the The Illinois Nurse publication, telemedicine has been defined as “the direct provision of clinical care via telecommunications — diagnosing, treating or following up with a patient at a distance.”

The American Medical Association’s Council on Medical Education and Medical Services has an expanded definition: “It is medical practice across distance via telecommunications and interactive video technology.”

In simpler terms, doctors and nurses can — without leaving their offices use the Internet, telephones, video technology and other means to keep in touch with their patients’ condition.

Another definition is “the use of telecommunications technology to provide and support health care when distance separates the participants.”

The benefits of telemedicine are clear: It keeps doctors and nurses in close touch with their patients’ illness and enables them to respond quickly when an illness becomes more serious.

In effect, a well-equipped telemedicine program enables doctors to give many more patients effective care.

“Telehealth” is the term preferred by the American Nurses Association because it is more inclusive. Like telemedicine, it is an umbrella term referring to all varieties of health care that make use of telecommunications.

Doctors and nurses can’t meet with every patient every day. As a result, care-givers are often unaware when a patient’s health suffers a serious decline. Telemedicine allows them to respond to changing conditions much more quickly.

According to The Illinois Nurse magazine, “A Kaiser Permanente study of telehealth nursing showed cost savings, positive health outcomes , and unexpectedly high patient satisfaction, especially in the elderly community. resulting from telehealth care.”

It is clear that doctors and nurses provide the best care if they can stay informed about any changes in their patients’ condition.

Telemedicine is a practical and effective way to do so and it is likely to bring about major improvements in the nation’s health care program.

Bill Boyne is a retired publisher and editor of the Post-Bulletin. His column appears weekly.

Here is the link to the original article.

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2 Comments »

  1. Good post, we BTW use patientsurvey.com for keeping a tab on patient feedback. Works out well. Makes the staff also think twice about how they treat patients. Also, this is helping out to let go staff who are not doing a great job. What better way to document something than something that is provided to you by patients themselves. Plus, all staff wears a name tag just to make sure they know patients can see who the person is.

    Also, doctors are now reviewing these every month as well. They get positive and negative feedback about how patients feel about their treatment at the hospital.

    In the end only thing that matters is the patient care and preventative medicine.

    Keep up the good work. Great content!!!

    Regards

    Comment by Patient Survey Tools — April 30, 2010 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

  2. […] Bill Boyne: Telemedicine can make big advances in health care […]

    Pingback by Warren Buffett Aggressively Defends Goldman Sachs | SocialDaily.info — May 1, 2010 @ 9:46 pm | Reply


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