Now more than ever, telemedicine is as important to nurses as the delivery of that care is to oncology patients. TeleNurse Network facilitates the convenience use of a unique virtual platform for easy communication between both patients and nurses. Through the use of cutting edge technology, patients, especially those in rural areas, can connect with specialty nurses and healthcare providers who can offer highly focused, on-demand healthcare management.
HOW DOES THE TECHNOLOGY IMPACT PATIENTS AND HEALTHCARE?
Currently 30 states and the District of Columbia have approved parity telehealth laws facilitating reimbursement from private insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid for Telemedicine, which is intended to be complementary to a patient’s existing health care plan (American Telemedicine Association, 2012). Convenience is the primary advantage of telemedicine, but it’s particularly valuable for oncology patients who may not feel up to an office visit or are located at a significant distance from their primary care provider. Today, telemedicine can provide referrals, patient monitoring, medical information, and education for health professionals (American Telemedicine Association, 2012).
For oncology patients with potential side effects and complications, there is a need for a multi-disciplinary care team in Telemedicine. TeleNurse Network has experienced, certified nurses skilled in various specialties, including oncology as well as wound and diabetic management who can augment medical care between treatments with the goal of reducing re-hospitalizations. The focus of the TeleNurse Network is not to replace the primary care physician or urgent care center, but to use technology to deliver nursing care at home. It is important to increase oncology patients’ access to clinicians, and even reluctant practitioners recognize the benefit of telemedicine for chronic conditions (Harper, 2012).
HOW DOES TELEMEDICINE IMPACT ONCOLOGY NURSES?
According to the National Sample Survey of Nurse Practitioners, 48,000 nurse practitioners currently provide specialty care, with an anticipated growth of 141% by 2025 (Coombs, 2015). The nurse practitioner workforce continues to respond to changing needs in the healthcare market and filling in the gap not only in primary care but in specialty services (Coombs, 2015). TNN is using technology to connect patients to nursing services and providing first-class nursing care that will improve the health and outcome of oncology patients.
Freed from the restrictions of an office environment and a pre-determined schedule, nurse practitioners with oncology experience are able to provide in-depth patient consultations and virtual nursing care for patients regardless of location.
With twenty-two states and the District of Columbia with full practice authority for Advanced Nurse Practitioners, telemedicine opens up the ability to provide care as well as generate extra income. There are also significant benefits for oncology patients with specialized care regardless of their location, at the same price for an office visit.
HOW WILL NURSING PRACTICES IMPACT DIGITAL HEALTH?
When it comes to oncology patients, especially in rural and less-populated areas, virtual access to specialty healthcare services is essential. TeleNurse Network (TNN) offers a comprehensive virtual nursing clinic dedicated to specialty practice and preventive care in over 14 states. TNN is regulated by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws just like traditional healthcare practices.
TNN is also affiliated with the Doctors, Nurses, & Patients Referral Network Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides free health information, referrals, training, and outreach. This affiliation is a perfect alliance for TNN, which is focused on preventive and educational care for patients.
TNN is also associated with Millennia 2025 – Women Innovation Foundation focused on promoting women’s empowerment and their full participation in political, economic, and social decisions with respect to human rights and gender equality. TNN was selected as one of the first U.S.-based telehealth nursing projects, providing this new startup an international presence before the tentatively launch in Nov. 2015.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF USING THIS TECHNOLOGY IN HEALTHCARE?
There are some concerns of which telehealth practitioners need to be aware. The most common concern is that of over-prescribing. With easier access to virtual practitioners, patients will request and anticipate easier access to prescriptions. Prescriptions are at the practitioner’s regulation and need to be carefully reviewed before issuing Harper, 2012).
Medical records are another concern for many reasons. With telemedicine, there is often a lack of access to full patient records. State regulators have voiced concerns about not being able to see the “full picture” when it comes to the patient’s health history (Harper, 2012). However, with TNN file-sharing option and EMR, it will provide all the information oncology nurse need to provide first-class healthcare services.
Some patients may also be concerned that they may not be working with the same practitioner each time they use the service (Harper, 2012). All of the nurses and practitioners on TNN are Board Certified and licensed, held to the highest professional and ethical standards in healthcare. Our secure information system ensures that patients can select their previous provider, ascertaining consistency in healthcare management.
IS THIS TECHNOLOGY EVIDENCED BASED?
Telemedicine has been around for more than 50 years. The prevalence of digital technologies has made offering telemedicine services much easier, and the industry has seen a boon in the last 10 years. As a special health practitioner, telemedicine has proven to be effective and more affordable than walking into a clinic or triage center. (Gulati, 2012).
As one of the first virtual nursing clinics, TNN is determined to provide a solution that will improve outcomes for a variety of patients, including oncology, that supports evidence-based Telehealth services. By integrating an innovative system, based on a multi-disciplinary approach, federal programs can leverage the full potential for a Health IT ecosystem, positively engaging patient while managing chronic and persistent disease states.
American Telemedicine Association. (2012). What is Telemedicine? Retrieved from American Telemedicine Association:
Coombs, Lorinda. (2015). The Growing Nurse Practitioner Workforce in Specialty Care. The Journal for Nurse Practitioners: http://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155(15)00709-6/pdf
Gulati, S. a. (2012). Carolinas HealthCare System: Successfully Reducing Hospital Readmissions for Advanced Heart Failure Patients. Retrieved from American Telemedicine Association: Telemedicine Case Studies:
Harper, J. (2012, June 24). Pros and Cons of Telemedicine for Today’s Workers. Retrieved from U.S. News & World Report: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/07/24/pros-and-cons-of-telemedicine-for-todays-workers
Millennia 2025 Foundation. (2015). TeleNurse Network. Retrieved from Millennia 2025 Foundation: http://www.millennia2015.org/page.asp?id=3475&langue=EN
Piana, R. (2013, Sept. 15). Paging Dr. Google: Practicing Oncology in the Era of Social Media and Telemedicine. Retrieved from The ASCO Post: http://www.ascopost.com/issues/september-15,-2013/paging-dr-google-practicing-oncology-in-the-era-of-social-media-and-telemedicine.aspx