Telemedicine

TELEMEDICINE 6

in empowering the health care environment of one’s communities

is a process of making use of information technologies as well astelecommunication with an intention of providing distant clinicalhealth care. This process is essential in eliminating the distancebarriers and also improves access to health services that would notbe easily available to many community members especially those livingin the rural areas. also offers an advantage in that ithelps in saving lives in critical care as well as in emergencysituations. Most members of the society living in the rural areas inthe world today do not manage to access standard health services.This provides the necessity of the incorporating telemedicine inthese areas that would help them to acquire the essential healthservices. The technology enables an efficient communication betweenpatients and medical practitioners with both fidelity and convenience(Wootton, 2006).

Discussion

is one of the recent innovations that can greatly help in empoweringhealth care environment in the society. The empowerment is achievedas a result of enabling easy access of basic health servicesefficiently. The magnitude of empowerment can be determined by howwell the main community’s health services benefit the entiremembers of the community. helps in the empowerment ofhealthcare environment in various ways as discussed below. One of theways in which telemedicine empowers the health care environment is byoffering solutions to health care crisis. will addressthe available healthcare crisis in the society today through costeffective delivery the distribution of few providers as well accessto care. This will greatly empower the health care environment sincemost members of the community will benefit from efficient healthcareservices (Maheu et al., 2001).

has great potential of changing the existing paradigm of care to giveroom for improved access, as well as improved health outcomes viacost effective means. would also improve access tohealthcare especially to marginalized groups of the community. By sodoing, patients in the remote areas will access clinical servicesmore easily. It will also help the remote hospitals to provideintensive and emergency care services which are commonly availableonly in the urban areas. These strategies will empower the healthcareenvironment since the marginalized groups of people will access anyform of medical service they require (American Nurses Association,2001).

will enable patients to be diagnosed early enough. When patients arediagnosed and treated before the problem has escalated, they oftenshow improved outcomes and their treatments are less costly.Similarly, if telemedicine is incorporated in ICUs, it will greatlyhelp in reducing the hospital stays, complications as well asmortality rates. can also help in home monitoringprograms. This will reach out many individuals in the society andalso enable the health practitioners to understand the commonproblems that the members of the society are facing. The strategywill not only help in reducing high cost of hospital visits, but itwill also help the practitioners to contain the problem in itsinitial stages once detected (Maheu et al., 2001).

Anotherway in which telemedicine would help in empowering health careenvironment in the society is through addressing mis-distribution andshortages of healthcare providers. In this case the specialists willbe in a position of serving more patients with the help oftelemedicine services as opposed to normal operations. This willenable many individuals in the society to access special servicesmore effectively. According to Darkins &amp Cary (2000),telemedicine will also help in addressing the problem of nurses’shortage in the community. The problem is addressed because theavailable nurses will manage to attend to many patientssimultaneously since geographical mobility is not essential.

also helps empowering health environment in the society throughoffering continuous clinical education programs. This is achieved byenabling the rural clinicians to obtain continuous education easily.The rural clinicians can consult and interact with the specialistseasily. This will help them to acquire essential knowledge that willimprove their service delivery. By so doing, the health care in thesociety will be greatly empowered. is also essential inenabling patients’ support from family and friends. Patients canlive in their homes, and if hospitalized far from home, telemedicinewill enhance a continuous contact between the patients and families(Wootton, 2006).

also empowers the patients to play an active and pivotal role intheir healthcare. also empowers health care by improvingorganizational productivity. This is achieved by helping theemployees to work continuously since the telemedicine services areavailable at their sites. has enabled the monitoring ofchronic diseases from home. This helps in reducing hospital visits byapproximately 50% through keeping the patients in a stable conditionvia daily monitoring. This in return empowers the health careenvironment to a great extent (Darkins &amp Cary, 2000).

Conclusion

Healthis an essential aspect in human life. It should, therefore, be giventhe consideration that it deserves. is one of thestrategies that can help in offering solutions to numerous medicalcrises that in existence in the society. There is a great need ofgovernments of the day to embrace it. This will empower thehealthcare environment in the community a situation that will enablethe members of the society to have cost effective delivery of qualityhealth services.

References

AmericanNurses Association. (2001). Developingtelehealth protocols: A

blueprintfor success.Washington, DC: American Nurses Association.

Darkins,A. W., &amp Cary, M. A. (2000). and telehealth: Principles,

policies,performance, and pitfalls.New York, NY: Springer

Maheu,M. M., Whitten, P., &amp Allen, A. (2001). E-Health,telehealth, and

telemedicine:A guide to start-up and success.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wootton,R. (2006). Anintroduction to telemedicine.London: Royal Society of

Medicine.