Health Information Technology Health Needs Assessment
The healthcare field is not left behind when integrating new and innovative healthcare technology. Advancing healthcare technology is imperative for improving care quality and health outcomes in the dynamic healthcare field. Mental health treatment, specifically Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), has also adopted health information technology to ensure that care is provided more effectively and efficiently.
Research shows that PTSD therapy delivered through telehealth technology such as videoconferencing is as good as therapy done in person, thus recommended (Kuhn & Owen 2020). This executive summary presents a needs assessment of telehealth technology (Videoconferencing) in Medhill mental clinic on the treatment of PTSD, targeting the population of youths aged 18-24. It will also focus on the privacy and confidentiality issues of the upgraded technology, as well as the impact of the technology on different stakeholders.
Relevance and importance of the needs assessment
A needs assessment is conducted to identify the various gaps in a system. It entails analyzing the current health technology system, the strengths, and the shortcomings to determine the changes that should be made. In this case, the needs assessment will help determine whether telehealth technology’s current application effectively impacts the treatment of PTSD in teens and young adults.
The significant relevance of conducting a needs assessment while implementing a telehealth technology is helping the team make informed decisions about the telehealth services they are about to offer, potentially helping them save on time and costs and plan on any frustration that may come with the telehealth service.
Furthermore, a needs assessment helps the team establish the parameters around the telehealth technology being provided (Hawley et al., 2020). It also helps to clarify assumptions and identify constraints of implementing the telehealth technology by identifying the gaps between the needs that are being to be met and the needs to be met.
The primary issues affecting youth access to mental health treatment include poor help-seeking behavior. Most youths with PTSD are reluctant to seek mental health help due to stigmatization and beliefs about mental health. More so, the cost of mental health treatment is considerably high, thus discouraging them from seeking help from mental health institutions such as Medhill.
The target population’s healthcare needs can be addressed by integrating videoconferencing technology into Medhill’s system. Video-conferencing has been used in Medhill before, but not in treating PTSD patients. Therefore, there might be a reluctance among other healthcare professionals in the team to adapt to the change.
Key issues in nursing care affecting patient outcomes that the new telehealth technology will address
Various issues in nursing care affect patient outcomes for patients with PTSD. The primary nursing care issue that videoconferencing will address is the accessibility of the patients for follow-ups and screenings. PTSD is a disorder that requires regular follow-ups and screenings for effective treatment.
However, nurses cannot follow up with the patients who fail to turn up for mental clinics. Videoconferencing will enhance nurses’ follow-ups since the nurses can easily emphasize the importance of the follow-ups to the patients’ health. Follow-ups and screenings will improve the outcomes and well-being of the patients. The other issue that telehealth technology will address is limited access to care services.
Most basic healthcare institutions, especially rural ones, do not have well-established mental health departments. Thus, the rural youths are marginalized and unable to access mental health care. Therefore, by integrating videoconferencing in Medhill mental health clinics, the geographical gap limiting access to mental health care will be addressed. Since mental health care can be delivered online, the nurses will effectively reach PTSD patients without having to visit the clinic physically, thus promoting their health outcomes.
The third key nursing issue that telehealth technology will address is enhancing health promotion. Health promotion is one of the significant roles of a nurse. A study by Phillips (2019) establishes that health promotion helps nurses contribute to the improvement and maintenance of population health. Video-conferencing will be one of the enablers of health promotion targeting youths with PTSD since many youths can be found online. However, teleconferencing may fail to address the abovementioned issues where the youths do not have access to the devices they need for videoconferencing.
Safety requirements and regulatory considerations of using Videoconferencing
Even though introducing the telehealth technology in Medhill’s system will help address PTSD among youths, it is integral to consider the safety and regulatory considerations that it may require. According to Shore et al., tele-mental health service providers must comply with the state licensure requirements and have appropriate malpractice coverage (2018).
The care institution should consider meeting the requirements if the specific state of operation requires special telemedicine licensure. The safety of the videoconferencing platform to the patients and the healthcare providers should also be evaluated, before application, by licensed practitioners, considering the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines.
To introduce the videoconferencing platform in treating PTSD in youths, Medhill should think if there are any special licensure requirements needed for offering tele-mental health services in the state and allow other licensed practitioners to evaluate their capability of providing the services.
Confidentiality and privacy protections to be addressed by the videoconferencing technology
Privacy and confidentiality are vital considerations that any telehealth technology should consider, especially when dealing with youths with PTSD. The videoconferencing technology will be end-end encrypted to ensure that information about the patients is not accessible by other users or third parties.
The healthcare providers using the new telehealth technology will be trained to maintain the patient’s privacy and confidentiality. They will be required to only share patient information with authorized persons, with the patients’ consent. Also, videoconferences with the patients will be done in private areas where others cannot overhear the patient’s consultation and conversations, thus maintaining their privacy.
The potential impact of internal and external stakeholders and end-users in the acquisition of videoconferencing technology
The internal and external stakeholders of the telehealth technology implementation are the healthcare providers at Medh’ill in the mental health department and the leaders and management board in Medhill mental clinic, respectively. The technology end-users are the patients and the nurses and psychiatrists offering PTSD care to the patients.
The management will have to incur the cost of acquiring and maintaining devices used in videoconferencing. However, they will reach more patients, especially remotely, thus improving care outcomes. The healthcare providers will also be trained, impacting cost and time (Chudner et al., 2019). The end-users will have easier access to mental health care and save time and costs.
Easy access to mental health care will improve health outcomes for youths with PTSD. The impacts of telehealth technology implementation are based on the assumption that Medhill is cleared of the licensure requirements, can acquire and use the technology effectively, and the end-users can easily access it.
Implementing the use of videoconferencing in Medhill medical clinic to treat PTSD among the youths will considerably improve patient outcomes and wellbeing among this population. A needs assessment is essential for identifying how the technology will impact all the stakeholders, thus deciding whether the project implementation is viable.
Chudner, I., Goldfracht, M., Goldblatt, H., Drach-Zahavy, A., & Karkabi, K. (2019). Video or in-clinic consultation? Selection of attributes as preparation for a discrete choice experiment among key stakeholders. The Patient-Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, 12(1), 69-82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40271-018-0318-4
Hawley, C. E., Genovese, N., Owsiany, M. T., Triantafylidis, L. K., Moo, L. R., Linsky, A. M., … & Paik, J. M. (2020). Rapid integration of home telehealth visits amidst COVID‐19: what do older adults need to succeed?. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 68(11), 2431-2439. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.16845
Kuhn, E., & Owen, J. E. (2020). Advances in PTSD treatment delivery: the role of digital technology in PTSD treatment. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 7(2), 88-102. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40501-020-00207-x
Phillips, A. (2019). Effective approaches to health promotion in nursing practice. Nursing Standard. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.2019.e11312
Shore, J. H., Yellowlees, P., Caudill, R., Johnston, B., Turvey, C., Mishkind, M., Krupinski, E., Myers, K., Shore, P., Kaftarian, E. & Hilty, D. (2018). Best practices in videoconferencing-based telemental health April 2018. Telemedicine and e-Health, 24(11), 827-832. https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2018.0237