Telehealth nursing is an exciting sub-specialty within ambulatory care nursing.
Telehealth Nursing Practice uses the nursing process to provide nursing care and access to health care for individual patients or patient populations over the telephone.
Telehealth Nursing Practice occurs in multiple health care settings.
- Use of clinical algorithms, protocols or guidelines to systematically assess patient needs and symptoms.
- Prioritization of the urgency of patient needs.
- Collaborative development of the plan of care with the patient and supportive disciplines, which may include recommendations for care, call back instructions, and education.
- Outcome evaluation.
Members are always welcome to post a question at any time, as we strive to share best practice and great ideas. We hope you will join us in our journey to develop and support ambulatory leaders.
Feel free to join our discussion by using the Connected Communities. Find out about them in the "TNP SIG Connected Community" tab below.
January 24, 2017
Telehealth SIG Survey Results
In a survey of Telehealth SIG members conducted in 2016, 76 members shared details of their facilities, day-to-day practices, and interests. The results showed a diverse group of nurses who work in a variety of settings.
More than 55% of the group learned about telehealth from on the job training, and telehealth was not included in the nursing education curriculum of over 92%. The majority described their practice setting as ambulatory care, and their position as staff (57%), followed by 31.58% who identified as management.
At 81.58%, telephone triage was named as the top activity in which respondents participated. The survey goes on to detail the estimated amount of time spent on various activities, technology utilized, interests, and more. Over 70 different definitions of telehealth were provided in respondents' own words.
Several respondents cited AAACN's official definition: "Telehealth is the delivery, management, and coordination of health services that integrate electronic information and telecommunications technologies to increase access, improve outcomes, and contain or reduce costs of health care" (Espensen, 2009, p. 5).
Others defined telehealth in broader terms. The following respondent definitions of telehealth provide insight into evolving dimensions of tlehealth nursing practice:
"Telehealth includes multiple modes of communication using technology to communicate. I put telehealth into three categories: 1. Communication with the patient/caregiver using one sense such as telephone, secure messaging within an electronic medical record or chat. 2. Video conferencing which allows for use of more than once sense and allows for both visual and auditory communication 3. Remote monitoring where only data is flowing from the patient to the care provider. The care provider may take action if the data is outside of defined control limits."
"Telehealth is the communication between patient and health care provider over the phone or live video feed which enables faster/more convenient access to the health team for the patient, allowing for treatment, triage or health coaching as needed."
- Promote Telehealth nursing practice consistent with AAACN TNP standards.
- Support continuing education specific to Telehealth nursing practice.
- Support a network for Telehealth nurses responding to the changing needs of SIG members.
- Develop collegial relationships with other professional nursing organizations.
- Support research and publication within the specialty of TNP.
The Telehealth Manager's Toolkit is designed to be a resource for managers and leaders by the AAACN TNP SIG. It is important to remember when reviewing the information in the toolkit that not all call centers are alike and that nursing practice varies from state to state.
Managers should check with their State Board of Nursing regarding nursing scope and practice standards. We hope that you will find this a useful tool to start or improve your call center, ambulatory triage service or Telehealth Nursing practice.
The Telehealth Nursing Practice Special Interest Group Clinical Practice/Quality Improvement Workgroup has gathered several position descriptions for various positions in telehealth nursing practice.
Several organizations have shared their position descriptions with the intent to assist others in the development of position descriptions key for the practice of telehealth nursing.
A position description outlines the nature of work and describes the major duties and responsibilities, qualifications, and skills necessary to successfully perform a specific position.
Position descriptions may also outline working conditions, note applicable professional standards relevant to the role, supervision the positions receives, and any supervisory responsibility that the position may have. Download the Toolkit.
On Friday April 7, 2017, the Leadership and Telehealth SIGs jointly hosted an open call for SIG members on "Clinic Based Telephone Triage Models for Ambulatory Settings: Business and After Hours," a timely topic that has been receiving much discussion in the AAACN Connected Communities. Nearly 200 members called in for the discussion.
Thank you to moderators Nanci Joseph Fortgang, RN MPA CMPE; and Susan Clelland, RN, MSN; Leadership SIG Chair Chris Ruygrok, MBA, RN; Leadership SIG Advisory Board member Cynthia Murray, BN, RN-BC; and Telehealth SIG Co-Chairs Maureen Phillips, RN, BSN, CSPI and Mary Jo Vetter, DNP, RN, AGPC, NP-BC, for organizing the call.
Listen to the call (You must be logged in to your Telehealth SIG Connected Community account.)
Each SIG has been added to the Connected Community platform for all of your networking.
Members network via communities that provide archiving of discussions, a document library, search feature, digest options, and a customization profile for each member, and is mobile friendly.
AAACN established the Telehealth Nursing Practice Special Interest Group in 1995 with the support of its members.
In 1997, the first edition of the Telehealth Nursing Practice Standards were published. This landmark publication was the first of its kind in the nursing profession and met the goals set by the SIG two years prior.
In 2001, the second edition was published.
The third and fourth editions were published in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
In Spring 2001, the Telehealth Nursing Practice Core (TNPC) Course debuted. This is the first verification practicuum offered in the specialty of Telehealth nursing.
Clinical Practice / Quality Improvement
- Improve Telehealth clinical practice and professionalism.
- Recognize practice issues relevant to Telehealth nursing practice and communicate trends with other SIGs.
- Plan and implement ways to reach potential new members for AAACN TNP SIG to promote membership and the application of the AAACN Telehealth Standards.
Communication / Networking
- Organize, create, or solicit articles for the ViewPoint publication within the subspecialty of Telehealth Nursing Practice.
- Manage the Connected Communities to discuss current practice and ideas.
- Post current events to the AAACN Website.
- Have a product offering with perceived value in our market with a minimum of biannual review/revision of content required.
- Update the Telehealth Nursing Practice Resource Directory and be ready for sale at each annual conference. APA format will be maintained to be consistent with most professional literature.
Telehealth Nursing Practice SIG members must be members of AAACN. The membership year begins upon receipt of dues.