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Telephone and Online Follow-up Versus Personal Visits


Technological advancements are entering more and more spheres of people’s lives, leading to considerable improvements. In the healthcare profession, timely response to patients’ needs is frequently the decisive factor in the process of saving someone’s health or even life. Modern equipment helps physicians to perform a thorough examination of their clients and make operations at a more professional level.

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Along with these advancements, nurses’ duties have also been altered lately. Evidence-based protocols and electronic health records have simplified nurses’ workload and allowed for more time to provide care to patients. In the recent decade, the use of telephone and online follow-up has increased greatly, enabling patients to save time and costs on commuting to hospitals and giving nurses an opportunity to perform their duties faster. The present paper discusses the significance of telenursing versus personal visits and the topic’s alignment with the master’s essentials.

The Identification of the Problem

The selected problem deals with telenursing as a means of follow-up. The issue is rather important since there is a variety of ways in which nurses can help patients to promote their health after they leave a hospital and continue to recover at home. The aspect is particularly important to analyze since a comparison is needed between telephone and online follow-up and personal visits. A thorough analysis of the problem will allow establishing which of the methods is more appropriate and leads to better patient outcomes.

It is important to find scholarly articles focused on telenursing and investigate evidence-based practice aspects of the identified topic. It is expected that the examination of the problem’s significance, as well as its alignment with master’s essentials, will promote a better understanding of telenursing and its effects. Therefore, the identified problem is the effectiveness of telephone and online follow-up versus personal visits to patients’’ homes. In order to understand the issue in a more sophisticated way, the purpose of the research will be determined, and research questions will be suggested.

The Significance of the Problem to Nursing

Taking care of patients upon hospital discharge is one of the most responsible and essential duties of nurses. Depending on the quality of follow-up procedures, the likelihood of readmission can either increase or decrease. Moreover, if the follow-up is not arranged at the highest level, a patient may experience deterioration of health, which sometimes leads to death. The importance of the selected problem to nursing is justified by diverse research efforts that have been made both by scholars and healthcare professionals.

Armstrong, Semple, and Coyte (2014) have emphasized the positive effect of mobile monitoring and follow-up care for postoperative breast cancer patients that live within a long distance from a hospital. Berkhof, van den Berg, Uil, and Kerstjens (2015) have analyzed the outcomes of telemedicine and nurse-initiated telephone follow-up on the health status of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

Biese et al. (2014) have explored the impact of telephone follow-up on older adults discharged from the emergency department. Kargar Jahromi, Javadpour, Taheri, and Poorgholami (2016) have presented the results of a study focused on the effect of telenursing follow-ups on anxiety and depression in hemodialysis patients. Thus, the variety of issues for the management of which nurses employ telephone and online or mobile follow-up allows concluding that the problem is highly significant and that its investigation is necessary.

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The Purpose of Research

The aim of the research is to analyze the benefits and limitations of telephone and online follow-up as an alternative to personal nurse visits. As a result of investigating academic sources, it will be possible to identify the advantages of telenursing over home visits. In particular, such aspects as cost-efficiency and timely care delivery are expected to be better developed in telenursing than in-person meetings.

Research Questions

To reach the research aim, the replies to the following questions will be investigated:

  1. What are the positive effects of telenursing on patients’ health?
  2. What are the benefits of telephone and online follow-up for nurses?
  3. What are the psychological outcomes of telenursing for patients and healthcare professionals?
  4. What are the effects of telephone and online follow-up of hospitals’ financial state?
  5. What is the likelihood of reducing readmissions for patients that have been discharged recently?

The Master’s Essentials Aligning with the Topic

The selected topic is most closely associated with essentials III (quality improvement and safety) and V (informatics and healthcare technologies). Essential III is concerned with the continuous development of health care quality. According to this principle, master’s-prepared nurses should be well aware of the tools, methods, performance measures, and safety principles (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2011). Additionally, this essential demands the nurses’ preparation to be effective change agents and a good leader. According to AACN, patients’ health should not be put under threat either in hospital settings or at home.

Thus, essential III is closely related to telenursing since this method of follow-up involves communication with patients who are staying in their home environment. The principle involves training nurses to help their patients in various circumstances. According to this requirement, master’s-prepared nurses should learn the basic safety measures and know about potential errors which can lead to adverse outcomes (AACN, 2011). Nurses should also be able to analyze their work and identify mistakes both in their own approaches and in those of their colleagues. These measures will help to avoid negative outcomes while arranging follow-up telenursing.

Essential V is related to the selected topic because it involves training nurses in healthcare technologies and informatics. Out of the five broad areas covered by this principle, three are directly associated with telenursing:

  • communication technologies used by nurses to coordinate and communicate care;
  • data management to interpret and enhance the effects of care;
  • health information management for clinical education and evidence-based care (AACN, 2011).

Excellent skills and knowledge in healthcare technology and informatics are crucial for high-quality patient care in different settings. According to AACN (2011), essential V emphasizes the need for nurses to constantly enhance their expertise in technologies used for care delivery. The improvement in patient safety is contingent on various types of information management technology, including electronic health records, evidence-based practice, and research.

It is noted that since healthcare practices frequently alter to meet patient needs better, technology application will inevitably evolve as well (AACN, 2011). Therefore, essential V is crucial for those engaged in telenursing because it helps nurses to enhance their technical skills and knowledge and adjust to innovations in this sphere.

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Telenursing is a relatively new but increasingly popular way of follow-up as an alternative to personal nurses’ visits. Telephone and online connection with patients allows healthcare practitioners to manage their time wisely and more effectively. Telenursing also presents considerable benefits for patients, such as saving their time and costs of commuting. The purpose of the next phase is to analyze the benefits of telenursing versus personal visits. The topic is aligned with two master’s essentials, which signifies its relevance and significance.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011). The essentials of master’s education in nursing. Web.

Armstrong, K. A., Semple, J. L., & Coyte, P. C. (2014). Replacing ambulatory surgical follow-up visits with mobile app home monitoring: Modeling cost-effective scenarios. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(9), e213.

Berkhof, F. F., van den Berg, J. W. K., Uil, S. M., & Kerstjens, H. A. M. (2015). Telemedicine, the effect of nurse-initiated telephone follow-up, on health status and health-care utilization in COPD patients: A randomized trial. Respirology, 20(2), 279-285.

Biese, K., LaMantia, M., Shofer, F., McCall, B., Roberts, E., Stearns, S. C., … Busby-Whitehead, J. (2014). A randomized trial exploring the effect of a telephone call follow-up on care plan compliance among older adults discharged home from the emergency department. Academic Emergency Medicine, 21(2), 188-195.

Kargar Jahromi, M., Javadpour, S., Taheri, L., & Poorgholami, F. (2016). Effect of nurse-led telephone follow ups (tele-nursing) on depression, anxiety and stress in hemodialysis patients. Global Journal of Health Science, 8(3), 168-173.

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