Virtual Health Information Management
Virtual health is the use of technology to seek real time medical assistance from medical experts through communication devices that deliver live video and audio to different places. On the other hand, virtual health information management refers to using technology to manage patient’s health information, improve patients’ care, and access to the electronic medical records information. Telenursing and tele pharmacy are some of the technologies used to conduct virtual health information management.
Telenursing technology is the virtual technology that nurses use to provide services to patients who they cannot reach physically because of various barriers. Such technology includes medical applications such as teleconsultation and tele monitoring (Rawat et al., 2018). Telenursing has advantages to both the nurses and patients as it offers both conveniences. For examples, the nurses can monitor patients’ health such as blood sugar level, pulse rate, and even blood pressure among others from a distance and this information may be stored for use by doctors to diagnose the patients without having to move from their work stations. Additionally, patients in remote areas receive healthcare services from wherever they are thus saving time and effort. Telenursing also engages the nurse in the diagnosis and consultation process thus increasing their productivity. Through telenursing, the quality of work flow has improved with increased speed of nursing operations thereby promoting quality in the profession.
Telenursing has disadvantages. For example, physical barriers such as poor technology devices may hinder proper communication between the nurse and the patient nurses to collect unreliable information concerning a patient’s health. Additionally, patients may give unreliable information to the nurses as they may lack trust in the technology used, therefore, making it difficult to manage information about diseases (Rawat et al., 2018). In other cases, the quality of care is reduced as patients may have to interact with different nurses thereby create confusion and lead patients to hold back important information on all the symptoms of an illness thus reducing chances of success of telenursing (Schwamm et al.,2018). Moreover, telenursing may not be convenient for use in every situation as physical examination and performing surgery need a face to face consultation.
Tele pharmacy is used to dispense medicine to an individual or another pharmacy after a registered pharmacist gives a prescription, especially where physical barriers such as geographical barriers exist (Skrei et al., 2017). The innovation has video cameras that can be monitored by the pharmacist to allow the correct dispensing of drugs. Information collected on the patient and the dispensed drug can be used by a health facility to make decisions on type of drugs or health condition in a place. Additionally, data collected from patients can assist the pharmacist to keep records of the patient’s health electronically in the system. Moreover, data collected by the pharmacist can be retrieved for use during the billing process and when making insurance claims.
Tele-pharmacy has various advantages to the patient and the pharmacy. For example, pharmacists can provide services to patients, therefore, it offers convenience. Additionally, tele pharmacist saves cost as one pharmacist can serve people in different areas within a short period (Skrei e al., 2017). The technology also increases customer satisfaction as people living in remote areas can access health services without physically looking for the drug over long distances. While tele pharmacy has many advantages, it is not perfect for example, it lacks total management in dispensing medications as pharmacist may violate regulations in dispensing drugs thereby making it difficult for the management to collect proper information on the health records of an individual or place (Poudel et al., 2016).
Virtual health information management includes collecting of information from a patient through use of virtual technologies such as telenursing and tele pharmacy. When providing services to patients, nurses and pharmacists document their service and store them in the systems electronically and also document the service offered. The information collected is used to make various decisions such as patient diagnosis, health standards in the area or used for budgeting by the state departments. Virtual heath technologies have also assisted to offer healthcare to various areas where various barriers exist.
Poudel, A., & Nissen, L. M. (2016). Telepharmacy: a pharmacist’s perspective on the clinical benefits and challenges. Integrated pharmacy research & practice, 5, 75.
Rawat, G. (2018). Tele nursing. International Journ Key words.
Schwamm, L. H. (2018). Virtual care as a specialty. Jama, 319(24), 2559-2559.
Skrei, A., & Rundquist, M. M. (2017). Pharmacy Services in Telepharmacy: how’s it working, where it’s working, and what’s required to practice in this new setting. ADVANCES in pharmacy, 1(1).