Health Care Informatics: Telehealth
Telehealth is a rapidly rising healthcare delivery model that many healthcare organizations largely adopted, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth is the delivery of healthcare via a technology-based platform that facilitates health services such as remote patient monitoring, patient health education, patient assessment, patient treatment, and consultation, among others (Kichloo et al., 2020).
Telehealth technologies are of varying arrays, and some include the use of videoconferencing, remote patient monitoring, health apps, and mobile health. This discussion will solely focus on videoconferencing telehealth technology expansion within the healthcare setting through a précis and mind map discussion.
Chiauzzi, E., Clayton, A., & Huh-Yoo, J.’s “Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health: Important Questions for the COVID-19 Era From Clinical and Patient-Centered Perspectives” is the article chosen for this discussion. The study sought an understanding of the effects of videoconferencing-based telemental health expansion on the stakeholders utilizing such services to ensure the provision of these telehealth services to meet both the client and the clinicians’ needs (Chiauzzi et al., 2020).
The rapid growth of videoconferencing use in mental health was brought about by the social distancing requirement as a preventive measure to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This necessitated the implementation of such adaptive measures to ensure continuity of patient care.
The study focused on the stakeholder perspectives in the ethical, clinical, and human-computer interaction aspects. This was in an attempt to determine whether psychotherapy interventions were affected by telemental health, whether ethical and client-centered concerns were guaranteed in the context of videoconferencing tele-mental services, and whether treatment dynamics were altered by this approach of digital therapy (Chiauzzi et al., 2020). This was done to recognize and address the stakeholders’ experiences to improve the use of this telehealth technology with the anticipated increased adoption and implementation in the future.
Several issues that have implications for the adaptation of videoconferencing telemental health arose, including advantages and disadvantages of adopting telemental therapy, ethical concerns regarding privacy, security and safety of patients, infrastructure and delivery tools required, and regulation and security concerns (Chiauzzi et al., 2020). This particular type of telehealth technology is quite promising in providing strategies for further adaptation of new digital interventions in quality and efficient patient care.
Discussion of The Mind Map
Video teleconferencing, as aforementioned, is one of the telehealth technologies. It enables communication and virtual clinical interactions between a healthcare professional and a patient from a remote location (van Huizen et al., 2021). The communication is real-time and face-to-face through a peripheral device. The device must have high-quality definition audio and video capabilities, such as a mobile device or a computer.
In addition, the peripheral device must have access to the internet or network for the communication to go through. During this virtual interaction, the clinician can provide various health services such as assessment of the patient and treatment services, for example, psychotherapy as in the case of telemental health above.
The environment in which video teleconferencing is usually such that the patient and the health care provider are in remote locations. This is particularly helpful for the underserved patient populations who have difficulties assessing quality healthcare.
Various benefits of telehealth technologies have been demonstrated. These include improved patient and provider satisfaction, improved quality and efficiency of healthcare, cost-effectiveness as well as increased access to healthcare, especially by underserved patient populations (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021). The improved access is especially beneficial for individuals with physical disabilities, transportation limitations, and those facing stigma in the process of seeking healthcare.
Teleconferencing also ensures continuity of patient care in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic that limited in-person interactions with healthcare providers. This is also true since video teleconferencing can be used as a follow-up modality.
Despite these benefits, certain barriers hinder the adoption and implementation of telehealth as an adjunct to regular physical encounter health services. Such barriers include inadequate technological resources, regulatory barriers, and limitations on interventions that require physical contact with the clinician (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021).
All patients and some clinicians in some hospital organizations may not have access to the devices and networks required in the adaptation of teleconferencing. The stakeholders may also not be equipped with adequate knowledge to operate such technologies, thus the need to train both the professionals as well as the patients on the use of telehealth.
Patient data privacy and security may also not be guaranteed due to the risk of cyber security attacks. Emphasis on the delivery of efficient and quality care to patients cost-effectively may prompt the implementation of telehealth services, especially with the advancing technologies worldwide.
The adoption and implementation of telehealth have tremendously risen within healthcare organizations. This is not only seen in conventional medical aspects but is also applied in psychiatry. As in this case, mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 led to the implementation of preventive measures, which affected the in-person interactions between patients and clinicians.
Resultantly, adaptive measures such as the use of telehealth, particularly video teleconferencing, were adopted to deliver telemental health services. The perspectives of stakeholders who utilize these services were sought to direct the future adaptation of telehealth in various aspects of healthcare delivery.
Chiauzzi, E., Clayton, A., & Huh-Yoo, J. (2020). Videoconferencing-Based Telemental Health: Important Questions for the COVID-19 Era From Clinical and Patient-Centered Perspectives. JMIR Mental Health, 7(12), e24021. https://doi.org/10.2196/24021
Gajarawala, S., & Pelkowski, J. (2021). Telehealth Benefits and Barriers. The Journal For Nurse Practitioners, 17(2), 218-221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurpra.2020.09.013
Hyder, M., & Razzak, J. (2020). Telemedicine in the United States: An Introduction for Students and Residents. Journal Of Medical Internet Research, 22(11), e20839. https://doi.org/10.2196/20839
Kichloo, A., Albosta, M., Dettloff, K., Wani, F., El-Amir, Z., & Singh, J. et al. (2020). Telemedicine, the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the future: a narrative review and perspectives moving forward in the USA. Family Medicine And Community Health, 8(3), e000530. https://doi.org/10.1136/fmch-2020-000530
van Huizen, L., Dijkstra, P., van der Werf, S., Ahaus, K., & Roodenburg, J. (2021). Benefits and drawbacks of videoconferencing for collaborating multidisciplinary teams in regional oncology networks: a scoping review. BMJ Open, 11(12), e050139. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050139
Appendix A: Mind Map
Topic Patient’s satisfaction on the use of telehealth to access psychiatric mental health services.
- Meaning of telehealth
Brief History of telehealth
what telehealth entails-like videoconferencing, calls, etc
Laws governing telehealth
(support with peer review articles)
- Patient’s satisfaction with regards to telehealth
tools used to measure patient’s satisfaction in healthcare.
(support with peer review articles)
- Literature Review on patient’s satisfaction on the use of telehealth to access psychiatric health services. (18 articles)
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