Identify and discuss at least two potential ethical issues that could be of concern for nurses with telehealth delivered care.

Strategies & Quality Practice
May 10, 2022
This week, you will find three scholarly, peer-reviewed research articles on your topic.
May 10, 2022

Identify and discuss at least two potential ethical issues that could be of concern for nurses with telehealth delivered care.

The use of telehealth has made its way into common vocabulary of the healthcare field. In the past, it was seen as an addition to care but now it is becoming its own avenue of medicine. Telehealth delivered care uses telephone, computer, texts, video conferencing and phone applications to provide provider-patient encounters. “These appointments via telehealth were examined and found to be as effective as standard face-to-face visits held in a provider’s office or clinic” (Nelson, 2014, p.149). But with every great thing comes potential issues. Two ethical issues that could be a concern for uses of telehealth would be privacy and practicality for all patients. 

“A key to telehealth success is healthcare providers access to patient’s health records at the time of the telehealth encounter just as in-person” (Nelson, 2014, p.136). This means that to ensure HIPAA standards there needs to be secure storage system of data. Workplaces, as well as higher education facilities, should then provide our healthcare workers with the skills to use telehealth appropriately in order to successfully respect the patient experience. When using telehealth through video chat it’s critical to provide privacy just as one would receive in person. This mean not having anyone around, but not in view of the camera, to hear conversations that are not directly involved in the patient’s care. 

The other concern for nurses with telehealth delivered care is acknowledging that patients differ dramatically, and some may not be able to use telehealth to the best of its ability. What may work for one family, may not work for another. The older population may not understand how to use a phone app to log on for a live visit, others may prefer phone calls over texts, some may not have a computer or smart phone to log onto for services. The same situation could affect a household within a health disparity group.  “These differences in access to technology may exacerbate existing health care access and equity issues related to demographics and socioeconomic status” (Mehta, 2014). Productive telehealth would need to user appropriate and friendly. If this is the case, health professionals would need to alter what is expected of patient’s to meet their needs. This could mean a  simple phone call for some or text messaging for those who are hard of hearing. There is a home health company in Florida that has the nurses drop off a smart phone or an iPad at the door of patients, walk away to perform a video call and when the call is finished the nurse goes and collects the device again at the door. This ensures that households that do not have the technology are still able to benefit from telehealth in a safe and social distanced manner.  


Mehta, S. J., (2014) Telemedicine’s Potential Ethical Pitfalls. AMA Journal of Ethics 16(12). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.) 

Nelson, R., & Staggers, N. (2014). Health Informatics: An Interprofessional Approach (2nd ed.). Elsevier. 

Edited by Wood, Carmen on Sep 1 at 12:35


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