Telehealth in Pediatric Palliative Care

When addressing chronic illnesses, technological innovation enables the health providers, patients and their care givers to enjoy an automated program to address health conditions. The invention of telehealth was timely as the health experts are aware that chronic diseases come with psychological stress to the patient, the family, and the caregivers. Telehealth reduces the physical and emotional strain of on-site visits by allowing pediatric patients to consult remotely and make payments where necessary. Telehealth is an innovation that assists palliative care to improve the quality of life and to reduce suffering among people with serious illness (Danielle et al.,2020) Consequently, Modern palliative care innovations embrace telehealth to allow physicians and patients to consult on different health matters while away from the hospital. Telehealth is an innovation that has been activated by technology to enhance palliative care through remote care giving techniques. Telehealth further improves the communication patterns by providing instant responses and this enhances medical consultations and quality care (Danielle et al., 2020). Evidently, telehealth has provided dynamic medical solutions that make treatment of pediatric conditions easier and more effective. The palliative care innovation indicates effectiveness in the health sector that indicates the government’s ability to increase the life expectancy of its citizens. The palliative care system is created to provide detailed info on the progress of patients and allows responses by the health providers in charge. Telehealth is an innovation of palliative care that has revolutionized healthcare in the country, and it has empowered stakeholders to address palliative care and other issues with minimal limitation. Some issues have emerged from the use of telehealth in Australia and experts are engaging in-depth research to increase the preparedness of the stakeholders

Palliative Population who will benefit from telehealth

Improvement plans for palliative care are structured to address the needs of a specific segment in the market. Telehealth intends to help more pediatric patients by providing unlimited consultation and medical intervention for speedier recovery. Pediatric palliative care (PPC) holistically addresses cases of children with serious illnesses by providing an active remedy for physical and emotional complications. Australia has a dependency on children as the pioneers of the future generations and the health system lays emphasis on pediatric palliative care through dynamic therapy. Controlling pain and reducing the symptoms of diseases in children ensures that the PPC is successful in enhancing the quality of life (Lindsay et al., 2020). The innovative structures will create new possibilities that will ensure that pediatric palliative patients have access quality healthcare services that are timely. PPC further reaffirms parents and family members by reducing the patient’s suffering and introduces grief management through counseling. Telehealth is designed to lengthen the life expectancy of Australian children and to enhance productivity in the society (Meaghann et al., 2020). The preparedness in the healthcare system guarantees a highly-qualified regime that is competent and reliable. Incidentally, preservation of human life is a major concern in healthcare, and targeting the needs of the children will enhance their future (Wu et al.,2020). Providing pediatric palliative care using telehealth is a privilege as the program streamlines communication and enhances its contribution to wellness. Implementation of telehealth has enabled different health organs to work cohesively to educate parents on PPC therapies. Digital apps are synonymous with telehealth as they are an avenue for enhancement of digital performance. Effective communication among the stakeholders has introduced value to telehealth and promotes quality medical and technological intervention.

Factors that Contribute to Barriers in the Implementation of telehealth

Several factors cause barriers to telehealth and the factors require the parties in charge to come up with dynamic solutions. Firstly, telehealth had faced management issues as some health outlets have not received telehealth supplies and they lack materials to implement this innovation. Further, telehealth has failed to achieve substantial results in the provision of effective health services to its beneficiaries. Access to telehealth is limited in rural Australia, and this denies diabetes patients in these areas from enjoying a streamlined healthcare program. Where telehealth is actively operational, the health organs have failed to create enough awareness to the communities and this makes the innovation less effective. Provision of education on the health benefits of telehealth in rural areas and can increase the effectiveness of the innovation. Telehealth is designed to reduce on-site visits and cut down the expense of running physical clinics for palliative patients. The implementation plans should include proper mobilization of teams to broaden communication patterns and to provide remedies to existing barriers. Another factor that limits telehealth is poor skills and resources. Pediatric care innovation is a necessity in the global health arena as Australia is facing poor staffing, lack of skills and unsynchronized payment structures. The present Corona Virus pandemic has posed serious challenges to the world’s preparedness on disease management (Lindsay et al., 2020). The statistics on Corona Virus patients and deaths reveals the need for upgraded programs that will elevate telehealth for pediatric care. Implementation of telehealth faces numerous challenges due to varying health policies and ineffective distribution channels (Steindal et al., 2020). The structures involved in implementing telehealth techniques are subject to the current healthcare goals and leadership patterns on the ground (Holmen, Riiser & Winger, 2020). The presence of payment barriers hinders home care givers from coordinating effectively with health providers remotely. The new palliative care program must include effective payment plans that are streamlined with hospital policies to ensure flawless palliative care plans from home. Palliative care is provided in hospital and at home, and this calls for an organized structure to coordinate the treatment patterns and other issues related to the illness. The innovations further seek to introduce new staffing methods and training for officers in other specialties such as cancer to ensure overall effectiveness. The coordination in different health departments has challenged attempts by telehealth to provide high-quality care in medical facilities and at home (Steindal et al., 2020). Telehealth requires medical practitioners from various departments such as cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, asthma, and others have to apply common goals to ensure that they provide ideal palliative care to their patients without interruptions. Addressing the issues of staffing and training is a management issue that calls for coordination of all stakeholders in healthcare and consideration of their needs. The care givers must familiarize themselves with the creative models for telehealth by working together with community health providers to assist those with advanced health complications. 

How Telehealth Impact Palliative Patients

Telehealth has a variety of impacts to palliative patients and they vary according to the usage and familiarity to the system. Telehealth thrives on reliable internet access to enable palliative patients and their caregivers to conduct medical procedures. The efficiency that telehealth has introduced to patients is unequaled as it has enabled remote access to consultation and other important services related to palliative care. Telehealth has empowered wellness through a timely and highly effective system. Telehealth thrives on factual evidence regarding patients with terminal illness as they are prone to stress and depression (Back et al., 2009). Patients with serious diseases endure physical complications that may worsen their health conditions. Telehealth further reckon that providing care to terminally-ill patients calls for understanding and resilience to form reliable support systems for the pediatric patients. Technological advancement is another benefit of palliative care innovation to individuals. Telehealth elevates technology and its ability to provide excellent healthcare services without on-site visits (Weaver et al., 2021). Telehealth has impacted pediatric patients positively as it has increased their familiarity with computer programs. Telehealth is synonymous with IT, and the innovation has presented benefits such as computer education and data retrieval skills (Holmen, Riiser & Winger, 2020). The caregivers and patients are empowered to interact with the health providers regularly about all the concerns about the existing medical conditions (Lindsay et al., 2020). The reduced on-site visits reduce the cost of movement for the patients and their caregivers (Holmen, Riiser & Winger, 2020). Accessing the program remotely gives the parties confidence in the innovation and its ability to promote wellness (Meaghann et al., 2020). The effectiveness of telehealth indicates the society’s readiness to accommodate health concepts that are beneficial and highly innovative. Another benefit of telehealth is that compatible areas have gone through thorough installations and infrastructure to support the innovation (Watts et al., 2021). These developments pave the way for higher designs that use similar mechanisms to increase service delivery. Telehealth in rural areas has updated the infrastructure and the lifestyles of the people living in rural Australia. The government has worked tirelessly towards the provision of excellent palliative care through communication and access to essential services. Thus, telehealth has promoted vigorous community education programs that enable the community members to familiarize themselves with available health infrastructure and realities that will improve their lives.

Conclusion

The benefits of telehealth are numerous being that patients can now develop a connection to their social circles for a speedier recovery. Telehealth further encourage caregivers to facilitate social interactions to reduce loneliness and to counter-act their health conditions. The human body responds to poor care by developing the illness and telehealth resolves these issues by providing instant medical care to address shock stress and emergencies. Patients with serious diseases require newly defined strategies like telehealth to address their growing social and physical needs. Further, palliative care innovations seek to control stress among patients by encouraging positive social behavior among invalids to fight infections.

References

Danielle Noreika, J. Brian Cassel, Jennifer A. Hicks, Elizabeth K. Burpee, Kim Twisdale, Janet H. Bull,(2020). Bridging the Gap: Telehealth Applications in Palliative Care (P20),Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 59(2)., 402-403,ISSN 0885-3924,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.12.031.(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885392419307365)

Elana Evan, Anand Sandesara, Kathryn Olivia Mock,Pediatric.(2019). Palliative Telehealth Care from Hospital to Hospital: A Pilot Project (QI653),

Harmony S. E. James, A. C. Smith, E. E. Thomas, C. L. Snoswell, L. J. Caffery & H. M. Haydon (2021) Exploring paramedics’ intention to use a specialist palliative care telehealth service, Progress in Palliative Care, 29:2, 106-113, DOI: 10.1080/09699260.2020.1852657

Holmen, H., Riiser, K., & Winger, A. (2020). Home-Based Pediatric Palliative Care and Electronic Health: Systematic Mixed Methods Review. Journal of medical Internet research22(2), e16248. https://doi.org/10.2196/16248

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Lindsay Bonsignore, Nicholas Bloom, Karen Steinhauser, Reginald Nichols, Todd Allen, Martha Twaddle, Janet Bull, (2020). Evaluating the Feasibility and Acceptability of a Telehealth Program in a Rural Palliative Care Population: TapCloud for Palliative Care,

Meaghann S. Weaver, Marie L. Neumann, Hema Navaneethan, Jacob E. Robinson, Pamela S. Hinds (2020). Human Touch via Touchscreen: Rural Nurses' Experiential Perspectives on Telehealth Use in Pediatric Hospice Care, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 60(5)1027-1033, ISSN 0885-3924, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.06.003.

Steindal, S. A., Nes, A., Godskesen, T. E., Dihle, A., Lind, S., Winger, A., & Klarare, A. (2020). Patients' Experiences of Telehealth in Palliative Home Care: Scoping Review. Journal of medical Internet research22(5), e16218. https://doi.org/10.2196/16218

Watts, KA, Malone, E, Dionne‐Odom, JN, et al. Can you hear me now?: Improving palliative care access through telehealth. Res Nurs Health. 2021; 44: 226– 237. https://doi.org/10.1002/nur.22105

Weaver, MS, Shostrom, VK, Neumann, ML, Robinson, JE, Hinds, PS, Homestead together: Pediatric palliative care telehealth support for rural children with cancer during home‐based end‐of‐life care. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2021; 68:e28921. https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28921

Wu, Y. R., Chou, T. J., Wang, Y. J., Tsai, J. S., Cheng, S. Y., Yao, C. A., Peng, J. K., Hu, W. Y., Chiu, T. Y., & Huang, H. L. (2020). Smartphone-Enabled, Telehealth-Based Family Conferences in Palliative Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Pilot Observational Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth8(10), e22069. https://doi.org/10.2196/22069













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