Health care is increasingly driven by information, and consequently, patient care will demand effective management of information. Nursing Informatics use information technology to improve the patient care process and health care delivery.
“It’s the use of Telehealth technologies, such as audio/video/phone, where nurses can interact and monitor patients remotely allowing for a more efficient delivery of care.” Telehealth is practiced in homes, healthcare clinics, doctor’s office, hospitals, nursing call centers, and mobile units. While ‘Telehealth Nursing” is not a nursing specialty such as Oncology or Geriatrics, it is the ‘umbrella term’ that includes: telephonic and virtual nursing care.
Nurse informaticists need extensive training in both nursing practice and computer science, with many completing Master’s degrees or certificate programs in nursing informatics. Nurse informaticists combine their clinical expertise and technical knowledge to determine the technology that best suits the needs of the organization and its patients, while also providing technical support to users.
Remote treatment can bring top-notch health care to patients no matter where they are and no matter how limited a health care organization’s resources. Healthcare professionals use videoconferencing, to provide virtual assessment to treat patients and also communicate with other health care providers.
In telemedicine and home health, nurses rely on technology and telehealth to keep tabs on their patients’ conditions. For example, they often use tools that assess and record vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose. Nurse informaticists assist in setting up this equipment in patients’ homes, teaching them how to use it and troubleshooting in the event of technical difficulties.
Training Fellow Nurses
Nurse informaticists can educate health care workers in the proper use of Telehealth and monitoring equipment. In many cases, nurses know very little about the tools and methods available in telemedicine. They can’t simply go to a patient’s bedside if they want to evaluate their status. Instead, they must rely on the technology that exist to evaluate patient’s status remotely as well as interpret biometric data. Nurse informaticists can teach telemedicine nurses how to use these systems and adjust to this approach to patient care.
Nurse informaticists play a critical role in implementing telehealth initiatives, by designing and maintaining the systems required for treating patients remotely, so why is there a lack of nursing informaticists in Telemedicine?
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