The main concern about using telehealth for the patient J.S. is that the wound has an infection that cannot be properly diagnosed through the use of photographs. It may be necessary to take a swab of the wound site to get an accurate diagnosis of infectious agent and to ensure that there is no necrotic tissue as a result of the wound (Yesenofski et al., 2015). Another concern is that the multidisciplinary team may not have access to J.S.’s full records, which means that their care is limited to the current healthcare issue alone.
There are some potential liability concerns. If J.S.’s infection was to get worse, perhaps through treatment with the wrong antibiotics, both the nurse and the multidisciplinary team could be liable (Yesenofski et al., 2015). It is also worth noting that licensure for telehealth can be complex due to the requirement for interstate medical and nursing licenses (Weinstein et al., 2014).
Another major concern for both the patient and the treatment team is privacy. Sending images and medical data over unsecured networks means that the patient’s information is at risk of being leaked, hacked, or accessible by those outside the team (Yesenofski et al., 2015). Patients often have concerns about how secure their data is, and telehealth is one area in which this concern is often noted – although efforts are made to ensure that the data is as secure as possible, transmitting data over the internet does not come without risks (Yesenofski et al., 2015).
As noted, there are limitations to telehealth that apply to this case. The presence of an infection means that diagnosis is based on experience and the wound site rather than on a diagnostic swab of the area (Yesenofski et al., 2015). It may also be that the infection gets worse as J.S. is not in a clean room or a hospital environment.
- Weinstein, Ronald S. et al. “Telemedicine, Telehealth, and Mobile Health Applications That Work: Opportunities and Barriers.” The American journal of medicine 127.3 (2014): 183–187. Print.