Preparing NP Students for Telehealth Practice

Tuesday, 31 October 2017: 9:00 AM

Linda M. Quinlin, DNP
Alice M. Teall, MS
Carol M. Nikolai, MS
Margaret C. Graham, PhD
Awais Ali, BA
College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

The Health Resources and Services Administration defines telehealth as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration” (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2014). The remote delivery of clinical services using technology has become an integral part of the healthcare delivery system. Telehealth can reduce healthcare costs, decrease travel time, increase patient compliance and satisfaction, allow for better collaboration, support patient self-monitoring skills, and improve access to quality care (Flodgren, Rachas, Farmer, Inzitari, & Shepperd, 2015; Rutledge, Haney, Bordelon, Renaud, & Fowler, 2014; Schlachta-Fairchild, Vagrhese, Deickman, & Castelli, 2010). Telehealth is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sectors in healthcare, as the pressure to improve care delivery systems, while at the same time reducing costs continues.

Due to the demanding and rapidly changing healthcare delivery system, incorporating telehealth clinical experiences in NP education is crucial to help prepare students for practice (Rutledge et al., 2014). The intent of this presentation is to review available technology and innovative strategies to incorporate telehealth in NP education using objective, structured, clinical exams, or OSCEs. The incorporation of innovation into the curriculum offers an opportunity for students to exhibit leadership by adopting new models of care into practice. Learning new methods of healthcare delivery empowers students, as providers, to develop the tools needed to meet the healthcare needs of populations with an understanding of associated policy and technology challenges.

Reflecting on lessons learned from integrating telehealth content, experiences, simulation, and evaluation in NP curriculum, presenters will review strategies to support expanded NP practice, and to prepare graduates to use telehealth as an effective method of healthcare delivery for individuals who are underserved, living in rural areas, and whose access to specialty services is limited. Presenting innovative strategies enables faculty to teach advanced practice nursing students anything, anytime, anywhere, while maintaining quality curriculum. Presenters will review available technologies, and the strategies employed by graduate NP faculty to prepare online students to deliver and manage care using telehealth applications.