More Telehealth Nurses May Be Just What You Need

Plug into a world of additional recruiting opportunities with telehealth nurses

Most likely your facility has telehealth nurses currently on staff. But if your organization is looking for ways to meet more of its out-of-hospital patient care needs— especially during this COVID-19 pandemic—maybe you need more!

Telehealth is not new. It has been on the scene for several decades providing for accurate, timely exchange of health data via phone, internet, email, video and other virtual methods, making many aspects of healthcare provision more affordable, accessible and less time-consuming for patients and physicians. Telehealth nurses have been part of it since the beginning.

Why are they needed?

telehealth course

According to a recent white paper from InSYNC Healthcare Solutions, telehealth can remove many obstacles patients encounter in accessing and receiving care and provide better ways for them and their healthcare providers to communicate and interact.

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) describes telemedicine as “a significant and growing component of healthcare treatment in the United States (that) can enable early intervention, higher patient satisfaction and reduced overall costs.”

Having grown and become an important part of healthcare over time, telehealth and nurses who work in the field are used in just about every setting from the emergency department and labor and delivery suite to psychiatry, pediatrics, medicine, surgery,  hospice, all ICUs and more.

In a recent National League for Nursing Technology Edge blog post, Elizabeth Speakman, EdD, RN, FNAP, ANEF, FAAN, asked some thought-provoking questions about how the COVID-19 virus experience has raised on the need for more technology in our nursing curricula through additional e-learning and telehealth education.

Where are they needed?

Telehealth nurses are not new on the scene, and as a recruiter you know how much they can add to your organization.

Home care is one good example. Telehealth nurses in home care programs can increase quality by being available to answer patient questions, assess problems, communicate issues to physicians directly from the patient’s home and share their nursing knowledge and advice with patients before and after hospital stays. Hospital-based RNs can be equipped with specialized telemedicine applications that allow them to connect their outpatients with various medical specialists, saving trips to providers’ offices and EDs. Nurse practitioners are in a unique position to make big differences in telehealth by connecting and coordinating things across the care continuum. Their advanced education and practice scopes allow them to bridge gaps between doctors and patients, especially in areas where certain specialists are in short supply.

What value can they add?

There are many reasons to recruit additional telehealth positions and include the new as well as the more seasoned applicant in your search. With many nurses retiring, transitioning to part-time and maybe working from home, and new grads comfortable with current patient care technology looking for their first jobs, the pool is large.

As a result of their contacts with newly discharged patients to assess adherence to medication regimes, lab values, cardiac status and overall recuperation and progress, having more telehealth nurses can improve quality outcomes and patient satisfaction, along with decreasing readmissions.

Telehealth nurses also can assist in your education department with telemedicine applications adapted to different settings that help increase staff and patient learning opportunities via virtual consultations and video teleconferencing.

Now more than ever, telehealth nurses are proving to be a valuable solution

There are many online advisories and warnings that tell us telehealth solutions such as nurse hotlines and helplines are very much needed right now.

A post this month on advised: “If you don’t have a virtual clinic … now is the time to get one. The CDC has announced they are ‘aggressively responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and preparing for the potential of community spread’ … and a key recommendation is the use of telehealth solutions and virtual visits.”

In a recent TV interview, Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, chief medical officer of MeMD, a leading national telemedicine company, spoke to the need in times like these.

“While telehealth is known to play a critical role in day-to-day healthcare needs, the virtual format is especially pertinent in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis,” he said. “With event cancellations and rampant social distancing … telehealth is providing Americans with a feasible and convenient avenue to get their symptoms assessed via a computer, phone or mobile device — without chancing spread of the virus.”

We applaud nurses on the COVID-19 frontlines, and recognize the importance of equipment they need to limit exposure to the virus for them and their patients. Telehealth is a great way to do that. So, if your organization is looking to get more correct and timely information on your patient care, compliance, recovery, follow-up and more, the value of adding more telehealth nurse positions to your current recruitment plan cannot be overstated.

Think about what having more nurses in this role can do for your organization during this unprecedented time, and remember they are not only cost-effective, quality staff members in normal times, but they will be lifesavers as well as time and money savers during current times.

Learn more about telehealth, including best practices, technology, and preparing your nursing staff, in these free courses, provided by Relias, parent company of