Does telehealth threaten the nurse/patient relationship? What do you think?
The Queen’s Nursing Institute has launched a new drive to encourage district nurses to make the best use of new communications technology such as telehealth systems. A report published by the institute said some district nursing teams had already made significant changes to their practice as a result of new technology but others lagged behind.
The report said: “The first, and possibly the biggest issue is the attitudes of professionals to the adoption of new technologies, and their readiness to embrace such changes to practice.”
It cited a Royal College of Nursing survey from 2010 in which 20% of 1,300 respondents thought an electronic patient record could be a “threat” to the nurse-patient relationship.
But the report said communications technology was becoming part of “mainstream” community nursing provision and was “no longer just a series of interesting pilot projects”.
QNI director Rosemary Cook said: “Technology is transforming the way that care is delivered, as well as the relationship between the patient and the professional.
“It doesn’t replace the nurse, or the need for a high level of both clinical skills and interpersonal skills in community nurses. Technology only works for patients when it is combined with expert, relationship-based care.”