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Telehealth Nurse Researcher Collaborates with Mayor in Chile

Telehealth Nurse Researcher Collaborates with Mayor in Chile | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Phase One: Using Simulation Labs to Teach Future Telehealth Providers

 

For 15 years, I was a home hospice nurse who went out on emergency nighttime visits to patients who were experiencing symptoms that terrified their family. The travel distance added to the anxiety and suffering of family and patients. I always thought that just because a family chooses to live in a rural area, they should not have to accept suffering as “the price they have to pay.”

 

Since then, I have focused on enabling the provision of healthcare services to patients who choose to live in the beauty of a rural environment.  Using telehealth technology to rapidly view, assess and improve a patient’s situation has been foremost in my program of research.

 I know I do not have to describe the explosion of telehealth during the last 15 years to readers of this blog. In my telehealth experience, I have gone from home hospice organizations, thinking that I was suggesting a cold and unfeeling method of providing end-of-life care, to a Global University interest in me sharing my telehealth expertise as an international Fulbright Specialist.  

 

In December 2018, I was invited to spend 10 days at the Universidad Mayor (UM) in Chile, South America. The purpose of my visit was to investigate the use of simulation to teach telehealth at the university’s science campuses. The UM is a private university with 11 campuses in Santiago and one in Temuco.  Despite the fact that UM was founded in 1988, only 30 years ago, there are currently 20,000 students enrolled in seven academic programs.  It was clear to me that the reason behind the rapid, yet well-planned, expansion is the attention given to providing students with an education for the future, especially in the areas of healthcare.  The Universidad is intentional and does not let time waste! 

Thanks to a combined effort between UM administrators and Arizona Telemedicine Program initiatives, by January 6, 2019, I was in Santiago.  Chile is a very long country, stretching 2,670 miles but only 217 miles at its widest point. The entire country covers almost 300,000 square miles.  Forty-one percent of the population lives in three large cities, resulting in 10 million people living in rural areas.

I visited two campuses – Alameda and Huechuraba – in Santiago, Chile’s capital, during my first five days in the country.  Both campuses have state-of-the-art simulation mannequins for training. At the Alameda Campus, I observed healthcare simulation training for dental surgery and odontology, the scientific study of the structure and diseases of teeth.  At the Huechuraba campus, I observed medical, nursing and obstetric students all learning together, using the simulation mannequin to give birth as the focus for their collaboration.  

My research program examines human factors that improve the use of telehealth. Effective communication is a critical variable. The technology can be of the best quality possible, but if the communication between the sender and the receiver is not effective, the outcome will not be optimal.  With each new technology addition to our healthcare system, we should expect improvement, not merely substitution for existing processes.

 

Using the “seven Cs” of effective communication: being courteous, clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, and considerate, contribute to teaching skills when in person.  However, when instructing remotely, due to limitations of other senses -- smell, 360-degree visualization, and touch – verbal attention to “the seven C’s” of effective communication becomes critical.  Simulation is a great way to allow healthcare providers to learn skills without risk to the patient. This exciting collaboration with the forward-thinking Universidad Mayor will utilize existing simulation technology to teach healthcare providers of the future how to communicate effectively.

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How Nurses are Transforming Healthcare

How Nurses are Transforming Healthcare | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

The role of the nurse has traditionally been overshadowed by the role of the doctor.



However, nurses today are playing new roles in coordinating care. From working with multiple providers, to managing caseloads of patients with intense care needs, and helping patients transition out of hospitals and into the home or other settings, they are transforming the way healthcare is given.



They are working as health coaches to prevent illness and promote wellness. They are charting new paths in emerging fields like telehealth, informatics, genetics and genomics, and as scientists and leaders in society.


Here are three ways nurses are pushing forward Healthcare in 2016.



 

Better Education

According to Susan Hamer, workforce development director for NIHR Clinical Research Network “Research has demonstrated that a well-educated nurse workforce leads to better patient outcomes. Nurses qualifying today may still be in the workforce in 2050. The more educationally able the workforce is, the better it is for patients and communities.”
Nurse training is now undergraduate level and leads to a degree on registration. The level of knowledge, the ability to reflect and challenge as well as appreciate the need for medicine to be evidence-based is essential.

As Edna Astbury-Ward, registered nurse and senior lecturer at the University of Chester said: “The need for nurses today to be highly trained, well-educated, critical thinkers is a requirement enabling them to make complex clinical decisions that 50 years ago would almost certainly have been made by doctors.”

 

Increased Role Variability




When a patient arrives at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) now, he or she is assigned an Attending Registered Nurse (ARN) for the duration of the hospital stay and after discharge. 

The ARN builds a relationship with the patient and his or her caregivers, and ensures that all members of the patient’s health care team follow a shared care plan. Unlike other RNs, ARNs are designed to promote continuity of care, ideally with a five-day, eight-hour work schedule.

 


The ARN is just one of the many new roles for nurses in a changing health care system. These new roles are empowering nurses to play a greater role in improving patient experiences and population health and lowering costs. 

Nurses in new roles are doing that by reducing unnecessary and costly hospital readmissions and preventable medical errors, providing more affordable, more convenient, and more patient-centered primary care in community-based settings, and more.

 

Empowering Technology


Wireless communication is an aspect of technology in nursing practice that helps to improve patient care and reduce physical stress for nurses. 

When a patient needs assistance, they can call the nurse’s assigned smartphone instead of pushing a button on the call light. The call is directed to the nurse wherever they may be. This not only saves the nurse thousands of steps per day running to answer call lights; it also improves efficiency. 



The nurse can bring pain medication in one step instead of walking to the patient’s room and then back and forth to get the medication. This saves steps and wear and tear on the body, which has been one factor in helping older nurses remain active in the field.

This one small innovation in technology is further empowering nurses to better deliver care.



 


In 2014, The Campaign for Action created the Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing Award to celebrate nurse leadership and the importance of efforts by nurses to improve health and health care.

The award recipients have worked to help medically fragile children, neurologically impaired individuals, and low-income women in rural areas, among others. Their work is helping to improve the quality of medical care, protect health care workers, reduce Medicaid costs and recruit and encourage minority nursing, to name a few. 


 


In 2016, nurses are well-educated through universities that focus on care coordination and critical thinking, as well as clinical skills.
They care for higher-acuity patients with increasingly complicated care needs in the course of shorter lengths of stay. Nurses today are technologically savvy critical thinkers who coordinate care across a broad spectrum of healthcare. 


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Hemanshi Nimavat's curator insight, 14 April 2017, 10:42
My mother is an Mental health nurse, the responsibilities she has in her field are to make sure the patient are taken care of their needs, to make sure the patient feel safe in their unit. The example can be used is : If a patient goes out in-voluntarily to visit a family and does something harmful to their self and have been brought back, then the staff needs to make sure the in-voluntarily assessment are to be removed from the patients file.