Virtualizing care from hospital to community: Mobile health, telehealth, and digital patient care
Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth Borycki RN PhD, FIAHIS, FACMI, FCAHS
Previous studies have proven that web-based learning media that offer interesting features with <i>the learning management system</i> concept could support the learning processes of nursing students. Nonetheless, it is still necessary to conduct further research on its potential as an information media that supports learning using 1 of the mobile learning methods.
Coordinated care and telehealth services have the potential to deliver quality care to chronically ill patients. They can both reduce the economic burden of chronic care and maximize the delivery of clinical services. Such services require new behaviors, routines, and ways of working to improve health outcomes, administrative efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and user (patient and health professional) experience.
Telemonitoring (TM) interventions have been designed to support care delivery and engage patients in their care at home, but little research exists on TM of complex chronic conditions (CCCs). Given the growing prevalence of complex patients, an evaluation of multi-condition TM is needed to expand TM interventions and tailor opportunities to manage complex chronic care needs.
Long-term care (LTC) homes provide 24-hour care for people living with complex care needs. LTC staff assist older adults living with chronic conditions such as Alzheimer disease, related dementias, and stroke, which can cause communication disorders. In addition to the complex cognitive challenges that can impact communication, further difficulties can arise from cultural-language differences between care staff and residents. Breakdowns in caregiver-resident communication can negatively impact the delivery of person-centered care. Recent advances in mobile technology, specifically mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) and their software apps, offer innovative solutions for supporting everyday communication between care staff and residents. To date, little is known about the care staff’s perspectives on the different ways that mobile technology could be used to support communication with residents.
Globally, most countries face a common challenge by moving toward a population-based structure with an increasing number of older people living with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes. This creates a considerable burden on health care services. The use of digital tools to tackle health care challenges established views on traditional nursing, based on face-to-face meetings. Self-management is considered a key component of chronic care and can be defined as management of the day-to-day impact of a condition, something that is often a lifelong task. The use of a screening instrument, such as the Self-Management Assessment Scale (SMASc), offers the potential to guide primary health care nurses into person-centered self-management support, which in turn can help people strengthen their empowerment and self-management capabilities. However, research on self-management screening instruments is sparse, and no research on nurses’ experiences using a digitalized scale for measuring patients’ needs for self-management support in primary health care settings has been found.
Digital games–based learning is a method of using digital games to impart knowledge. Virtual reality (VR) programs are a practical application of this method. Due to demographic changes, the nursing profession will become increasingly important. These VR applications can be of use in training nurses for future professional challenges they may encounter. The continuous development of VR applications enables trainees to encounter simulated real life effectively and to experience increasingly concrete situations. This can be of great importance in nursing education, since 3-dimensionality enables a better visualization of many fields of activity and can prevent potential future errors. In addition to this learning effect, VR applications also bring an element of fun to learning.
Writing a successful grant or other funding applications is a requirement for continued employment, promotion, and tenure among nursing faculty and researchers. Writing successful applications is a challenging task, with often uncertain results. The inability to secure funding not only threatens the ability of nurse researchers to conduct relevant health care research but may also negatively impact their career trajectories. Many individuals and organizations have offered advice for improving success with funding applications. While helpful, those recommendations are common knowledge and simply form the basis of any well-considered, well-formulated, and well-written application. For nurse researchers interested in taking advantage of innovative computational methods and leading-edge analytical techniques, we propose adding the results from computer-based simulation modeling experiments to funding applications. By first conducting a research study in a virtual space, nurse researchers can refine their study design, test various assumptions, conduct experiments, and better determine which elements, variables, and parameters are necessary to answer their research question. In short, simulation modeling is a learning tool, and the modeling process helps nurse researchers gain additional insights that can be applied in their real-world research and used to strengthen funding applications. Simulation modeling is well-suited for answering quantitative research questions. Still, the design of these models can benefit significantly from the addition of qualitative data and can be helpful when simulating the results of mixed methods studies. We believe this is a promising strategy for improving success rates with funding applications, especially among nurse researchers interested in contributing new knowledge supporting the paradigm shift in nursing resulting from advances in computational science and information technology.
Persuasive health technology (PHT) is any technology purposely designed to influence, reinforce, change, or shape health-related attitudes or behaviors. Behavioral interventions can be developed for the purpose of maintaining or improving a person’s health status. Delivering behavioral interventions via PHTs is a promising approach for encouraging healthy behaviors among individuals and populations. Important attributes of all PHTs include their functionalities. A functionality refers to any useful features, functions, capabilities, or technologies associated with computer hardware or software. Creating effective PHTs requires a deliberate selection of appropriate functionalities for supporting specific behavioral interventions. The number and types of functionalities necessary to create an effective PHT will be specific to the context of each project, influenced by project objectives, stakeholder goals, behavioral interventions, and a variety of real-world constraints. Selecting appropriate functionalities can be challenging. Fortunately, there are frameworks and models developed specifically for guiding the design of PHTs. The Persuasive Systems Design model describes 4 categories, and 28 design principles for creating effective persuasive interventions. These same design principles could also be useful for guiding the selection of appropriate functionalities.
Intensive care unit (ICU) nurses experience high levels of burnout related to the high-stress environment. Management of electronic health records (EHR) is a contributing factor to physician burnout. However, limited research has established the relationship between the nurse’s well-being and EHR use.
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