Presented by: Mary Ann McLaughlin and Kelly Warantz

Telehealth is an ideal situation to combine with simulation in the education of the nursing student. Educating students in the care of chronically ill patients and preparing them to care for these patients in the community is a recurring theme that nurses will continue to face in the future. This presentation will delineate the development and study of a student nurse simulation training incorporating disease management and telehealth for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) patients. The break out session discussion will lay the foundation for replicating telehealth activities at other universities through the review of study activities. In addition, the session will review results from the pilot study’s researcher.

In order to understand the alignment between this study and the theme of the conference, one must understand the concept of telehealth. Telehealth is a holistic way to approach patient care by employing the use of science and technology in an adaptable, flexible environment. This flexibility allows patients in a telehealth program to successfully manage the disease process while hopefully having a more satisfying and complete life. In the United States, we are experiencing an aging population with multiple, chronic health care needs (Riley, Gabe & Cowie, 2012). In addition, to this problem, access to healthcare, and healthcare that is affordable has also become a large issue. The case for telehealth has never been as strong as it is now. The purpose of telehealth is to enhance patient satisfaction and motivation, which leads to greater self-care and fewer exacerbations of the chronic illness.

Another important part, of the telehealth process, is the interactions that occur between the patient and disease management nurse. These interactions become an integral part of the disease management process through the development of a relationship that is caring and nurturing. The nurse attempts to enable the patient to become more invested in the self-care process and manage the disease process from a more educated perspective.

If done properly, many good consequences may arise out of telehealth. Consistency in data collection, coupled with accuracy in reporting may be the impetus to a solid telehealth program. The other positives consequences of such a program include greater patient buy in due to satisfaction and motivation. These consequences then lead to greater self-care by the patients regarding medications, diet, and activity. The overall goal is to improve a patient’s health, therefore, decreasing ER visits and hospitalizations.

Having provided disease management and telehealth for a number of years to various groups of patients, I am familiar with the intricacies of the process. I am able to identify patients motivated to do well, as opposed to others, to whom a great number of interventions will still not afford the desired results. The success of disease management and telehealth, I feel, are very dependent upon patient buy in and commitment to health and wellness. After all, the ultimate goal for our patients to teach them how to adopt health practices in order to adapt by connecting learning to living with CHF.

This breakout session will serve to educate members of various healthcare groups to promote adoption and adaption for these patients. The desired outcomes include knowledge of the care of CHF patients, promoting adaptation in order to foster a positive health care management change in patients. The breakout session will also assist in the dissemination of the information to faculty who want to conduct their own sessions back at their university. This activity is not limited to nursing students. It can be run as an interprofessional session as well.

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