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Patient Care through Telemedicine

Patient Care through Telemedicine
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  • 0:03 Innovation at the Front Line
  • 0:45 Expanding Access
  • 2:10 Specialty Consults
  • 2:35 Enhanced Learning
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Alyssa Campbell

Alyssa is an active RN and teaches Nursing and Leadership university courses. She also has a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and a Master's in Business Administration.

Telemedicine is the use of technology to better connect patients with their healthcare providers for the management of their health conditions. In this lesson, learn more about the process of telemedicine and how it is already being used today.

Innovation at the Front Line

The way healthcare providers deliver care is changing in response to advances in technology, the need for better communication, and a booming demand to deliver medical services. Telemedicine, a strategy combining ease of communication with the ability to reach a large number of individuals, remains on the cutting edge of medical technology.

To see the impact that telemedicine can have, let's look at a hypothetical example. Gemma is the newly appointed manager for the telemedicine department of a large, fictional regional hospital. She understands the impact that telemedicine could have on the community, so she's motivated to teach her new employees how to use telemedicine to expand healthcare to people who would otherwise have great difficulty accessing it.

Expanding Access

Because telemedicine can be used to see patients who are homebound, have difficulty with transportation, or live at a distance from a medical center, Gemma describes different applications of telemedicine to her team.

Hub and Spoke

One type of telemedicine that Gemma implements is the hub and spoke system. This type of telemedicine is used to describe a telemedicine program that has a physician at the clinical site acting as the hub, who then connects with a spoke (or a patient in a remote setting). This use of telemedicine allows physicians and patients to communicate over large distances and enables clinicians to have a visual assessment of their patients.

Asynchronous

Gemma also implements asynchronous techniques into the hospital. These techniques include the use of video, audio, pictures, or a combination of these different media to help manage the patient's complaint. Gemma explains that while asynchronous telemedicine communication does not occur as quickly as a direct hub and spoke, it may be useful for:

  • Chronic, or long-term, wound management
  • Managing pain with the use of video diaries
  • Medication adjustments not requiring an in-office visit
  • Teaching opportunities for patients and family members

She teaches her team that different styles of telemedicine can be used, and she looks to her team to help decide how telemedicine can be used to improve the care their hospital provides.

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