Healthcare Anywhere: The Pledge of Telehealth

Laura A. Stokowski RN, MS

Disclosures

October 30, 2008

In This Article

Future Directions

Telehealth isn't really about the technology. The technology is just a tool, and like all tools, it is useless if it doesn't work for the people -- the patients and professionals -- who will use it to improve care.[25]

Nurses are central in the use of technology for healthcare.[8] Technology is an instrument that can be used to deliver nursing practice; it cannot replace nurses. Technology can facilitate a patient encounter that is similar to the traditional face-to-face interaction.[8] Nursing research is needed to ensure that telehealth is based on best practices.[8] Studies with clearly defined populations, standard outcomes, and standard methodologies are urgently needed to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of telehealth.[8] In addition, based on the findings of studies by Wakefield and others, more research is needed to determine which patients may benefit most from specific telehealth applications.

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