Telemedicine, Its Advantages and Drawbacks

General Aspects of the Technology Topic

  • Telemedicine: digital technology for medical observations;
  • Helps determine the most suitable treatment;
  • Considers biometric data and its analysis;
  • High satisfaction rate/cost-effectiveness (Jacoby, 2017);
  • Rapidly intervening into the medical sphere;
  • Growing segment (Grand View Research, 2016).

Telemedicine is a digital solution that collects observations and determines the most suitable treatment by considering biometric data and its analysis. In turn, it is commonly associated with a high satisfaction rate of patients due to the accuracy of diagnosis while being cost-effective simultaneously (Jacoby, 2017). It is rapidly intervening in the medical sphere due to favorable conditions for growth and support of the community.

The Rationale for Choosing the Topic

  • Rapid adoption in the medical sphere;
  • Replacing traditional practices with digital telemedicine;
  • High growth (Grand View Research, 2016);
  • Catering to patients’ needs and preferences;
  • Supported by nurses (Center for Connected Health Policy, n.d.);
  • Being proactive and familiar with telemedicine.

Telemedicine becomes popular in the medical sphere by replacing traditional practices. Its fast growth can be explained by the ability to cater to the patients’ needs while being supported by the nursing community (Center for Connected Health Policy, n.d.; Grand View Research, 2016). Medical professionals have to become familiar with telemedicine since it has a beneficial impact not only on the health of patients but also on the productivity of nurses.

Standards of Use

  • Prioritizing the development of standards and guidelines;
  • Developed in 1991 (Krupinski, Antoniotti, & Bernard, 2013);
  • Since 2004, their development and revision;
  • Different sub-guidelines (Krupinski et al., 2013);
  • Comply with general medical best practices;
  • Prioritizing patients’ health, satisfaction, and well-being.

Standards were created in 1991, and since 2004, they were constantly revised and developed (Krupinski et al., 2013). There are different guidelines covering the application of telemental health, teledermatology, and others (Krupinski et al., 2013). Nevertheless, they comply with medical best practices and prioritize patients’ health, satisfaction, and well-being.

How It Will Impact Practice in a Positive Manner

  • Increasing accuracy of diagnosis and analysis;
  • Higher mobility of equipment and doctors;
  • Possibility of remote monitoring and control;
  • Reduced duration of patient’s hospital stay;
  • Effective distribution and control of resources;
  • Reduced and well-developed spending and cost-effectiveness.

Telemedicine has a positive impact on medical practice because it increases the accuracy of diagnosis and mobility of patients and equipment. Simultaneously, it is possible to monitor patients distantly and decrease the duration of their stay. Lastly, its digital nature helps distribute resources effectively and reduce costs.

How It Will Impact Practice in a Negative Manner

  • Possible disruptions in system and software;
  • Consequence: Increased percentage of medical errors;
  • Consequence: Questioning continuity of care;
  • Possible leakage of information and data;
  • Issues with cybersecurity and information safety;
  • Conclusion: More beneficial than negative.

It may affect practice in a negative way due to disruptions in the system. The major consequences may be an increased percentage of medical errors and problems with care continuity. Along with that, issues with cybersecurity and safety may also affect medical care negatively. Nonetheless, its advantageous features outweigh its negative impacts.

Pros and Cons of the Technology

  • Pros: Enhanced accuracy/relevance of diagnosis;
  • Pros: User-friendly interface and data storage;
  • Pros: Increased speed/quality of decision-making;
  • Cons: Possible leakage of patients’ information;
  • Cons: High implementation and installation costs;
  • Cons: Potential disruptions/errors in processes.

The major benefits of telemedicine include enhanced accuracy of diagnosis, user-friendly interface, convenient data storage, and increased speed of decision-making due to the mobility of digital technology and cost-effectiveness. Nevertheless, the major disadvantages are possible leakage of patients’ data and high installation costs. Meanwhile, potential disruptions in the system’s processes may question business continuity.

How Informatics Skills and Knowledge Were Applied in the Process Relevance to Developing the Assignment

  • Information evaluation and its continuous research;
  • Using search engines/databases for data synthesis;
  • Processing information and highlighting main factors;
  • High levels of computer literacy/competencies;
  • Well-developed information management competencies and skills;
  • The critical importance of IT in healthcare/telemedicine.

This task helped me apply informatics skills such as information assessment and continuous research by taking advantage of search engines and databases. Along with that, a high level of computer skills and information management were required to synthesize data effectively. This assignment also helped me understand the paramount importance of IT in healthcare and telemedicine.

Ethical Conflicts That Could Exist

  • Information leakage and violation of privacy;
  • Easy patients’ data retrieval and access;
  • Violations of patients’ autonomy and rights;
  • Maleficence and negative impacts on health;
  • Violating patients’ consent to share information;
  • Misunderstanding between doctors, nurses, and patients.

Different ethical issues may take place, and they may violate patients’ autonomy and rights due to ease of data retrieval and possible leakage of information. Meanwhile, disruptions in the system may have negative impacts on health and question its application. Lastly, violating patients’ consent to share information and factors mentioned above may create misunderstandings between medical professionals and patients.

Conclusion

  • Telemedicine: Beneficial advanced technology and tool;
  • Its advantages outweigh the disadvantages;
  • Recommendation: Revision of current implementation process;
  • Recommendation: Improvement of cybersecurity and safety;
  • Recommendation: Revising existent policies and legislation.

To summarize, telemedicine is a beneficial advanced technology, and its advantages outweigh its drawbacks. Nevertheless, it is rational to revise the current implementation process due to its high costs. Simultaneously, it essential to improve cybersecurity and safety to avoid ethical issues. Overall, continuous revision of policies and guidelines has to be viewed as a priority.

References

Center for Connected Health Policy. (n.d.). Remote patient monitoring. Web.

Grand View Research. (2016). Remote patient monitoring devices market analysis by product (vital sign monitors, specialized monitors), by end-use (hospital-based patients, alternate site (ambulatory patients, home healthcare)), by application, and segment forecasts, 2014 – 2025. Web.

Jacoby, K. (2017). Remote patient monitoring works for health plan members and care managers. Web.

Krupinski, E., Antoniotti, N., & Bernard, G. (2013). Utilization of the American Telemedicine’s Association’s clinical practice guidelines. Telemedicine Journal & E-Health, 19(11), 846-851.

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