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What Does Telehealth Mean for Travel Nurses?

January 10, 2022

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Megan Bebout

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Times are evolving in the healthcare industry. While office visits were once an individual’s only option for care, telehealth technology has made its way into the lives of patients across the globe, increasing healthcare affordability, accessibility, and demand.

But now that patients have access to healthcare on demand, what does that mean for travel nurses and allied health travelers? The more travelers can implement technology into their workspace, the more successful they’ll be. Here’s what travel nurses can expect from the rise of telehealth technology.

 

What Does Telehealth Mean for Travel Nurses?

 

The rise of telehealth technology

The now infamous coronavirus (COVID) pandemic threw a wrench in the world of healthcare and patient access. But from it, telehealth nursing and medicine gained its popularity.

Telehealth, or otherwise known as telemedicine, allows healthcare providers to serve patients without an in-person visit. Typically, telemedicine is performed online with internet access on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It can be done via email, video, phone, or a combination thereof and usually involves ambulatory care nursing practices, or anything that can be done in an outpatient setting without hospital admission.

Not only does telehealth care connect patients to healthcare providers, but it also empowers them to monitor and improve their ongoing health issues from home. With health information at their fingertips, patients have the ability to send their health data and vital signs like weight and blood pressure directly to their provider. And vice versa — telehealth gives physicians, registered nurses (RNs), and allied health workers direct contact to the patient so they can be notified of:

  • Appointment and/or medication reminders
  • Suggestions for improving diet, mobility, or stress management
  • Detailed at-home care instructions
  • Friendly encouragement

The use of telehealth nursing is growing and according to the American Nurses Association (ANA), many healthcare facilities are integrating telehealth services into patient care to help with remote patient monitoring when it comes to chronic health conditions like heart failure, respiratory disease, and diabetes.

Plus, recent ANA studies also show that 70% of patients surveyed are comfortable using text, email, and video to communicate with their healthcare providers, which means telehealth nurses' work will only continue to grow.

Benefits of telehealth technology

Although telemedicine has existed for more than 40 years, it was the sudden rise of telehealth that revealed the benefits. For instance, telehealth improves a patient’s accessibility to healthcare, especially for the 20% of Americans living in rural areas or a remote location.

“While there is an abundance of healthcare resources in the U.S., the feasibility of patients connecting to care remains an issue, especially for those who are underserved,” said Dr. Lisa Wilson. “Telemedicine can remove geographical barriers, so that those in rural areas without easy access to care can still get the services they need.”

Nursing telepractice gives thousands of people access to high quality care and does so at a reduced cost to healthcare providers. A report done by the American Hospital Association (AHA) shows healthcare providers saved more than $2,700 per patient when using telehealth physical therapy after knee-replacement surgery. Because patients have the ability to call their doctors, nurses, and other care workers from the comfort of their own homes, telehealth allows for providers to see more patients in less amount of time. And it gives providers the opportunity to spend time with critical care patients who require in-person care. 

“The great thing about technology and telehealth is the flexibility it offers to design services that work best for the work environment or an individual on a case-by-case basis,” said Dr. Lisa Wilson. “It’s important for both providers and patients to embrace telehealth because of its ease of use, its ability to improve outcomes, improve communication, and reduce costs.”

In addition to reduced costs and enhanced convenience, telehealth also increases the health outcome of patients. One study found that patients with chronic health issues who used telemedicine experienced fewer complications and fewer hospital admissions.

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Telehealth in travel nursing

While the nursing profession is timeless, it’s also constantly changing. And now telehealth has made its entrance into the world of nursing care.

A career in travel nursing can take you all over the country, including rural areas with chronically underserved healthcare facilities where telehealth is a main source of healthcare for many. If you’re working with individuals who use telehealth services, you should also be well-versed with the technology so you can help further educate and advise patients.

As the future of telemedicine advances and becomes increasingly more popular, it’s possible that travel nurses can one day enjoy the convenience of checking on patients with a smartphone and reliable internet service. Of course, taking part in such advanced healthcare services will require specialized equipment like:

  • A strong and reliable internet connection. As a travel nurse, you’ll need a constant internet connection so you can check in on patients as needed.
  • Access to HIPAA-compliant software. Many healthcare facilities employ telehealth platforms and patient portals that typically meet HIPPA requirements to help with remote monitoring. Double-check that they do to ensure you meet HIPPA standards for maintaining patient data privacy.

It may not seem like much, but one day, these could be all you need to help patients from wherever you are. With the rise of the telehealth nurse, it’s beneficial to embrace the continuing education, tools and technology necessary for its success.

 

 

 

It’s no surprise that virtual healthcare is expanding into all new services with the rise of telehealth nurses. As telehealth becomes more popular, travel nurses and healthcare providers across the country must adapt and make changes to their health practices. And thanks to modern technology, tele health care and patient care has never been easier.

Explore travel healthcare jobs with Fusion Medical Staffing!