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Covid-19 Influence on Application of Telehealth Essay

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Updated: Jun 19th, 2022

In the history of healthcare, significant events often become the catalyst for development in patient care, nursing, and medicine. The currently ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is not an exception. Many solutions used now were brought to light during previous epidemic outbreaks, such as hygiene guidelines and masks. The present pandemic is different in that it occurred during the time of technological innovation. Telehealth – the process of using electronic devices and telecommunication technologies for care delivery – has been at the center of many discussions and analyses in relation to dealing with COVID-19. This paper aims to present some synthesized evidence about the influence of COVID-19 on the development and application of telehealth and its potential future uses.

Problem Statement

Telehealth is a part of contemporary nursing for many reasons. First, many people live in rural areas, where the lack of specialists leads to unaddressed health problems and people’s limited access to care (Hirko et al., 2020; Wosik et al., 2020). Second, people who cannot leave the house or have trouble traveling great distances for an office visit could also benefit from telehealth (Andrews et al., 2020). However, in the current environment, the use of telehealth became a means for all people to receive healthcare – the highly infectious nature of the virus and its risks made hospitals unavailable for many individuals (Caetano et al., 2020; Wong et al., 2021). Moreover, the high number of patients has led to hospitals unable to take on more people to care on-site (Caetano et al., 2020; Wong et al., 2021). As a result, telehealth turned from a tool with limited use into the only available type of care delivery in many instances. The effectiveness of telehealth in the setting of a global pandemic and its potential development during it should be examined to reveal benefits and overcome flaws.

Evidence Synthesis

A variety of research studies evaluate the introduction of telehealth into hospitals and its effect on healthcare, mental health, and the quality of care. Overall, telehealth is considered a positive addition to care – the use of devices and remote contact with patients is described as transformational in the industry (Byrne,2020; Caetano et al., 2020; Hirko et al., 2020; Wosik et al., 2020). Notably, the countries most affected by the virus are also beginning to increase their interest in telehealth, demanding a scale-up in services currently and in the future (Caetano et al., 2020; Wong et al., 2021). This necessity can be explained by the limited patient capacities of hospitals, especially in states with the highest numbers of cases.

The desire to improve and increase the adoption of healthcare is also supported by generally positive reviews of such services by both patients and clinicians. Even in fields where telehealth nursing has not been considered, it is being introduced to manage the overwhelming need for professional care (Byrne, 2020). Thus, one can conclude that COVID-19 had a significant impact on the development of telehealth, and this change has been positively received by both sides.

Conclusion

The evolution of telehealth under the influence of COVID-19 is a current topic as the technology evolves in real-time. The progress in this sphere seems to be explained by the limited hospital capacity and the need to serve patients without exposing them to the virus. The notable finding in the literature is that telehealth is positively received by both patients and healthcare providers, which raises the question of whether telehealth introduction will further increase in the post-pandemic world.

References

Andrews, E., Berghofer, K., Long, J., Prescott, A., & Caboral-Stevens, M. (2020). Satisfaction with the use of telehealth during COVID-19: An integrative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, 2, 100008. Web.

Byrne, M. D. (2020). Telehealth and the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 35(5), 548-551. Web.

Caetano, R., Silva, A. B., Guedes, A. C. C. M., Paiva, C. C. N. D., Ribeiro, G. D. R., Santos, D. L., & Silva, R. M. D. (2020). Challenges and opportunities for telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic: Ideas on spaces and initiatives in the Brazilian context. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 36, e00088920. Web.

Hirko, K. A., Kerver, J. M., Ford, S., Szafranski, C., Beckett, J., Kitchen, C., & Wendling, A. L. (2020). Telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for rural health disparities. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 27(11), 1816-1818. Web.

Wong, M. Y. Z., Gunasekeran, D. V., Nusinovici, S., Sabanayagam, C., Yeo, K. K., Cheng, C. Y., & Tham, Y. C. (2021). Telehealth demand trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the top 50 most affected countries: Infodemiological evaluation. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 7(2), e24445. Web.

Wosik, J., Fudim, M., Cameron, B., Gellad, Z. F., Cho, A., Phinney, D., Curtis, S., Roman, M., Poon, E. G., Ferranti, J., Katz, J.N., & Tcheng, J. (2020). Telehealth transformation: COVID-19 and the rise of virtual care. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 27(6), 957-962. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Covid-19 Influence on Application of Telehealth." June 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/covid-19-influence-on-application-of-telehealth/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Covid-19 Influence on Application of Telehealth'. 19 June.

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