Tele-nursing is the use of telecommunications technology to provide nursing practice at a distance. This can be something as simple as faxing medical records to the more complex delivery of nursing care to patients' home through the use of cameras and computer technologies.
Tele-nursing has also been used as a tool in home nursing. It is especially useful in cases of elderly and chronically ill patients who need to be nursed at home and are remotely located.
Tele-nursing can also provide opportunities for patient education, professional consultations, examination of test results and assisting physicians in implementation of medical treatment protocols.
Today nurses can offer consultation and comfort to patients whether they are in the same city or thousands of kilometers away. Over the telephone, nurses can calm an anxious patient, evaluate an injury or advise whether a person should go to an emergency unit. Communications technology now also enables nurses to deliver health care in rural and remote locations, and areas without health care services. The above examples of nurses taking action via the telephone are part of what is referred to as tele-nursing. Through tele-nursing, nurses manage the demand for health services, educate consumers, counsel high risk populations, provide after hours triage, and maintain communication with patients who have chronic conditions and debilitating illnesses. Telephones also allow nurses to take their services out into the community through mobile health teams. For countries with widely dispersed or rural populations, tele-nursing is a cost-effective strategy for making health care accessible to the whole nation. More over with the enhancements of “Tele-health” technology it becomes easier to provide healthcare services. For example test results, x-rays and other diagnostic data can be transmitted to experts at university hospitals for consultation. Nurses also use state-of-the-art video conferencing equipment as a tool for the assessment and treatment of patients. These “video clinic” consultations may be much like any other outpatient clinic visit, except that the patient and the nurse are sometimes hundreds or thousands of kilometers apart. Tele-Nursing removes the barriers to health care for people living in remote villages or where adequate health services are not available.