Telehealth can be as simple as a phone call between a patient and nurse that discusses symptoms and treatment options. More advanced devices include the ability of nurses and medical staff to monitor oxygen levels, pulse, blood pressure and other vital statistics. Some Telehealth devices deliver “face to face” discussions via video chat between doctor, nurse and/or patient, potentially reducing hospitalization rates and decreasing emergency room visits. Through Telehealth monitoring, the state of the patient’s health or recovery can be quickly determined, easing the minds of doctors, nurses, patients and loved ones.
In an educational setting, whether in an online nursing school, at a patient’s bedside or within a doctor’s office, Telehealth devices provide information about diagnosis and disease management, treatment plans and healthcare information. The administration of hospitals, clinics and medical facilities benefit financially from the use of Telehealth devices that quickly and easily record data from patients, doctors and nurses, reducing costs related to paperwork and even preventing costly mistakes that could lead to malpractice issues.
Nurses and medical professionals are quickly learning to integrate the use of Telehealth devices into the healthcare profession. Many doctors offering “concierge” services are able to do so through the use of text messaging, e-mail and phone calls. Nurses with experience in Informatics and technology are able to quickly assess patients and provide better quality care. These devices are enabling patients to remain at home while recovering from illness or injury, alleviating medical costs and granting a better quality of life to the elderly, disabled or ill. As technology continues to improve, the uses for Telehealth devices can only provide better healthcare options and information for medical professionals, patients and loved ones.