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What is Telehealth? - Definition & Uses

What is Telehealth? - Definition & Uses
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  • 0:03 More Than Medical Services
  • 0:40 What Is Telehealth?
  • 1:33 How Telehealth Is Used
  • 2:59 Devices to Promote Telehealth
  • 3:56 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.

Telehealth is the use of technology to broadly impact patient care, care delivery, and overall satisfaction. Check out this lesson to learn more about telehealth and how it is applied in healthcare today.

More Than Medical Services

Lee, the head of a large hospital's technology department, is charged with the development of a program to improve the engagement of patients and their providers. After reviewing satisfaction scores from the previous year, room for growth exists in the areas of patient education, healthcare provider involvement, and communication between the members of the care team.

With a deep passion for technology, Lee considers the use of technology to do more than schedule doctor's appointments and send emails. With the right vision and establishment of realistic goals, Lee hopes to launch the hospital's first telehealth program.

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of technology to accomplish a variety of health-related objectives. Broader than telemedicine (also known as remote patient monitoring), which is the use of technology to hold doctor's visits and consultations remotely or from a distance, the term telehealth is used to include:

  • Educational services for patients and providers
  • Training
  • Transmission of clinical or health information
  • Provide centralized locations for public health data collection
  • Promotion of patients with providers and each other
  • Provide streamlined access to services
  • Remote monitoring on chronic conditions

In an effort to address the hospital's primary concerns, patient care and education, Lee begins to brainstorm the development of his new telehealth program.

How Telehealth Is Used

Because telehealth is a broad term used to describe the promotion of patient care through the use of technology, Lee has a lot of room for flexibility while developing his telehealth program. He decides to focus on education and training.

Education and Resources

Patient education includes clinical resources directed at patients to assist them in managing their conditions. Generally adapted to laymen's terms, patient education historically included brochures, pamphlets, and printable manuals for patients to read. Educational as well as functional resources, like where and how to purchase medical equipment, were segmented. Lee draws on his team's expertise to update the form and delivery of patient education and resources with the use of online videos; patient portals, or websites with centralized and personalized health information; and the increasing use of mobile applications.

Training

Lee prompts his team to consider possibilities for training healthcare providers with the use of telehealth. After some research on the latest telehealth trends, the group plans to implement the use of:

  • Crowdsourcing, where videos of live procedures, like surgeries, can be streamed online for peer feedback

  • Teleconferencing, through which providers can fully participate in seminars and training sessions taking place across the nation

  • Mobile software, which includes apps designed to provide care team members with the latest information regarding the care of their patients

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