iPhone technology, secure texting, and telehealth

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April 2, 2019
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April 2, 2019

iPhone technology, secure texting, and telehealth

The hospital that I currently work for piloted the use  of iPhones in addition to our work station on wheels (WoW). We can use  this iPhone technology for charting simple nursing interventions,  receive STAT orders and discharge orders, and communicate with our  colleagues through texting. Our WoWs enable us to do “secure texting” to  a physician, some physicians prefer the secure texting technology some  don’t, but surely there are times that the answering service may fail to  page them in a timely manner and the secure texting technology becomes  very useful. As nurses, we can see through our WoWs as soon as the  physician reads the text message, that way we know they are aware. This  technology saves us some precious time we spend on the phone waiting on  hold just to page a physician for orders, condition and/or results. Our  hospital also offers telehealth services especially for those who are  likely to be readmitted due to chronic diseases. We mostly see a  telehealth order for a patient with cardiac issues.

Risks and benefits

The biggest threat that I believe healthcare  technology is at risk for is privacy. According to Chaet, Clearfield,  Sabin and Skimming (2017), privacy and confidentiality are just “as  important in the context of telehealth and telemedicine as in hospital  and office settings” (p. 1138). I surmise, organizations providing this  type of technology in healthcare have an incredible security system in  place. The secure texting technology, we are instructed not to use full  names, instead, we use room numbers of the patients.

The biggest benefit of the use of telehealth and  mobile devices for healthcare is accessibility. Use of the iPhone  technology in our hospital is quick and easy to navigate, we can get in  touch with virtually anybody logged in for that shift in the whole  hospital. From a distance, telehealth helps those patients who are  unable to manage their chronic illnesses very well.

Trends in healthcare technology

The most promising healthcare technology to me is  virtual visits, mobile health, telehealth, and telemedicine technology.  One can get in touch with a healthcare provider as long as one has a  smartphone and internet access. It could provide access to so many more  patients in need of healthcare that resides in rural areas or have no  means to transport themselves to the physician’s office. It could save  time and money for patients as we all know healthcare can get expensive  very easily and very fast. According to Abuhaimidd, Meetoo and Rylance  (2018), technology in healthcare with the use of mobile devices can  “truly offer the potential to promote healthcare management and health  behaviour change outside formal clinical settings” (p. 1176). This does  not take away the significance of having a physical visit with a  physician, those visits are intended for more complicated health issues,  but I believe this technology has potential to truly help those with  chronic illnesses to be able to manage their health on their own, make  them accountable for their own wellbeing, patients can share data,  interact with clinicians over a mobile device instead of having to go to  the doctor’s office.

Telehealth rules

According to Mastrian and McGonigle (2017), nurses who  participate in telehealth must be “licensed to practice in all of the  states in which they provide telehealth services by directly interacting  with patients” (p. 381). This can be challenging as states have  different rules and regulations regarding licensure, continuing  education requirements are different as well as fees and renewal  process.

References

Abuhaimid, H. A., Meetoo, D., & Rylance, R. (2018). Health  care in a technological world. British Journal of Nursing, 27(20).  1172-1177.

Barreto, E. A., Cohen, A. B., Donelan, K., Estrada, J. J.,  Michael, C., Schwamm, L. H., … Wozniak, J. (2019). Patient and clinician  experiences with telehealth for patient follow-up care. American  Journal of Managed Care, 25(1), 40-44.

Chaet, D., Clearfield, R., Sabin, J. E., & Skimming, K.  (2017). Ethical practice in telehealth and telemedicine. Journal of  General Internal Medicine, 32(10), 1136-1140.

Mastrian, K. G., & McGonigle, D. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.