You are a nursing case manager working in a 100 bed community hospital in a rural setting. Many clients are elderly with chronic health conditions and have several factors that impair their timeliness of follow-up appointments for chronic care management. Since they are remote, the hospital struggles to meet the needs of this community health population. Therefore, the hospital experiences a delay in client care and chronic care management due to a lack of provider access. Many clients also report having to align transportation needs for their nurse appointments which further limits their availability. Recently, client complaints have increased with regards to lack of reliable, prompt service for client chronic care consults and lingering concerns for their overall health.
A Clinical Standards and Innovations Committee has been created to look at leveraging technology to expand care for remote, community health populations. The Chief Nursing Officer has assigned you to this committee to examine strategies for best practice related to use of telehealth to support rural settings and expand care to all community populations. As the lead RN on the committee you have been tasked with leading the telehealth initiative and have one month to research, analyze, and propose the best evidence based strategy to implement telehealth services through telecommunications-ready tools. You will present your findings to the Chief Nursing Office and CEO of the facility in a succinct one-page summary leveraging your committee’s recommendation. They have asked for the summary to include the following components:
- Discuss the defining characteristics of telehealth
- Include your own definition of telehealth
- How does telehealth impact the nursing role
- Examine how telehealth is currently integrated in healthcare
- Describe the evidence based practice that supports the use of telehealth in rural and community healthcare settings.
- Provide a detailed description of your recommended evidence based strategy to implement telehealth
- Provide rationale supporting your strategy
- Summary to include current evidence from the literature.