Healthcare Technology Care Coordination and Community Resources
Impact of healthcare technology on mental health and psychological issues in nursing home residents
Mental health issues are one of the significant global burdens and a rising health concern. Mental health management has been under pressure to conform to the rapidly rising technological advancements. Technological advancements are being consulted to address the worldwide mental health crisis. Digital methods of communication such as text messaging, video conferencing, record keeping, and data storage in hospital Health Information Systems (HIS) are common (Harerimana, Forchuk & O’Regan, 2019). Over the last few years, there has been an outcry due to the surge of mental health issues. Hospitals and the government have developed advanced technology to diagnose, treat, and follow up on mental health issues (Lustgarten & Elhalai, 2018). Advanced healthcare technology is set to change mental health care technology. Digital health technology emphasizes availing data, computing power, utilizing mobile technology, and networking. Healthcare technology has effectively enhanced people’s interactions and resolution of disorders involving mood and anxiety.
Healthcare technology has promoted interprofessional collaboration and effective care coordination (Ko, Wagner, & Spetz, 2018). global statistics indicate that people living with mental issues have significant problems in accessing psychological help. This is majorly because of inaccessibility to healthcare facilities and health care facilities’ deficit. The advent of healthcare technology has led to abandoning traditional care models and the adoption of new models that have led to the accessibility of mental health patients who were otherwise not accessible.
With the technological advancements, it has been possible to monitor patients while they are at home and provide consultation, prescription, and other services offered in face-to-face meetings. In addition, telehealth has been instrumental in ensuring patients are cared for in the comfort of their homes and around familiar environments. This has been instrumental in improving patients’ mental status and ensuring that healthcare facilities such as nursing homes are decongested.
Advanced therapy and sophisticated patient monitoring machines have been in the frontline, ensuring that mental health issues are conclusively managed. In addition, telehealth has been integral in managing patients with mental health issues (Park, Langellier, & Burke, 2021). Over the past few years, the diagnosis of mental conditions has gone through tremendous change. Mental issues such as Parkinson’s Disease, with significant mental health issues, can be diagnosed early and treatment initiated early, preventing comorbidities and enhancing the patients’ quality of life.
How care coordination and the utilization of community resources affect mental health and psychological issues among nursing home residents.
Care coordination is an integral part of all health services. Nurses, psychiatrists, nutritionists, doctors, physiotherapists, and other healthcare providers must coordinate during patient care, such as nursing home residents who often have various medical and psychological problems (Jones et al., 2018). The nurses assess the mental status, after which a psychiatrist reviews, confirms the diagnosis, and initiates treatment. Different studies such as Jones et al. (2018) indicate that inter and intraprofessional communication are the basis of quality care delivery. Therefore, all healthcare providers must be ready and willing to collaborate in care provision.
Community resources such as community-based care institutions, spiritual leaders, and lay consultation are essential pillars in managing mental health problems (Piercy & Zanin, 2019). When nursing home residents are catered for or referred to community-based institutions, they receive care at proximal distances to their homes. Family and friends can take care of their own in home-based care by receiving instructions on every procedure to carry out. Disorders such as depression and anxiety have been mitigated through the utilization of home-based care and telehealth.
State board nursing practice standards and/or organizational or governmental policies associated with health care technology, care coordination, and community resources.
Government policies can favor or discourage healthcare technology. Federal regulations and other responsible bodies have presented conflicting policies affecting mental healthcare significantly in the recent past. These initiatives have significantly affected the delivery of mental health services in nursing homes. The government has been integral in creating favorable environments through creating policies that favor improved healthcare delivery in areas of deficits. The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 guides mental health practices in the U.S. (Park and Park, 2017). The National Mental Health Act, for example, authorized the improvement of the mental health of U.S. citizens through research. The research involves defining psychiatric disorders, determining their causes, diagnosis, and their best treatment. The government, through funding programs, enhances mental health practices. The government, through policies, protects patients’ rights, such as those involving coercion during the care of the mentally ill patients (Hem et al., 2018). The National Coordinator of Health Information Technology bears authority to develop health information technology that corresponds to the needs of the citizens and addresses healthcare disparities.
Further, the HITECH Act regulates healthcare technology by ensuring responsible bodies establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency by promoting health I.T. Health information technology involves developing systems that store and avail data on the internet to all healthcare providers with authorized access. The government’s laws and regulations play a significant role in determining health care technology, care coordination, and community resources. Specifically, HITECH Act plays an integral role in ensuring that information systems used are up to date and with acceptable global standards.
Explain how nursing ethics will inform your approach to addressing the problem through applied technology, care coordination, and community resources.
Nursing practice is informed by the ICN ethical guidelines/ethical codes. Nursing ethics require that the nurse provide the best care to the patient that is holistic. Ethical issues and ethical guidelines also apply to mental health management (Lustgarten & Elhai, 2018). The principles in nursing ethics such as autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence also apply in psychiatric care. The Mental Health Act of 2017 lays down guidelines for all healthcare professionals, including nurses (Ventura et al., 2020) that must be adhered to at all times. Ethical issues such as those regarding informed consent, confidentiality, constraining patients also exist. During my practice, I shall ensure that all the rights of a patient are upheld. Exception of special situations such as when the patient is violent, will warrant the need to restrain such patients. Information concerning a mentally ill patient can be relayed to family members and other healthcare providers to ensure quality care delivery to all patients. The ICN institutes that it is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure quality, affordable and accessible care is delivered to all. As Ventura et al. (2020) assert, nursing actions should provide the best benefit to the mentally ill and least or no harm.
Community resources utilization in the management of mental health and psychological issues in nursing homes
Community resources are crucial in managing mental health and psychological issues. Community organizations help create awareness of mental health crises, prevent mental health conditions, reduce stigma and discrimination, support recovery and social inclusion (Piercy & Zanin, 2020). Different organizations that deal with mental health issues exist in the society. These organizations, for example, the JED foundation, are instrumental in providing mental and emotional healthcare management services. In addition, the American Psychiatric Association members have extensive physicians who are dedicated in providing mental health care to the society and effective treatment to mentally ill persons. According to Piercy and Zanin (2020), the psychiatric Nurses Association is a team that ensures mental health wellness by promoting health, creating public awareness, preventing mental health problems, and enhancing care and treatment of people living with mental disorders. These institutions are community mental health resources that have led to the marked increase in mental health awareness. Additionally, they have been instrumental in improving access to mental health treatment within the American society and beyond. As Piercy and Zabnin (2020) observes, community resources have been instrumental in promoting the mental health status of individuals across all socio-ecological levels.
Barriers to care coordination and community resources in mental health and psychological issues among nursing home residents.
Several barriers impede care coordination and utilization of community resources in managing mental health and psychological issues. Inadequate training of the nurses is one such problem. Nurses who lack information on current healthcare technology pose a challenge to its implementation. Many health care providers in nursing homes also lack training on interprofessional collaboration (Ralston, Andrews, & Hope, 2019). Often, health professionals without training interact poorly with the patients, making it difficult to achieve effective care coordination. Adequate training is thus a prerequisite. As Falconer, Dho and Doherty (2018) argues, most health professionals in nursing home care practice lack clearly stated and shared measurable goals, an aspect that makes collaboration difficult to achieve. At times, roles in nursing homes overlap, resulting in role and leadership ambiguity. This tends to result in conflict and thus poor interprofessional collaboration. As Curtis and Brooks (2020) observe, any organizational cultures that fails to promote communication effectively impedes healthcare delivery. When an organization is rooted in poor communication, interprofessional collaboration becomes a challenge.
Another challenge is the lack of priority in the public health agenda. According to Ralston et al. (2019), other healthcare technologies involving intensive care and reproductive health are given priority in funding over mental healthcare technology. This has resulted in the failure to implement many technological advancements due to a lack of funding. The effect is derailed mental health service access and provision. Arguably, mental healthcare technology should be given equal priority in funding (Curtis and Brook, 2020). Health information systems (HIS) installation costs have been the major factor impeding the implementation and utilization of such technologies. Running the health information systems requires skills and expertise, which are achieved through training. Nurses in nursing homes require training associated with high health costs. The challenges on installation costs, maintenance costs, and training of staff have had a negative impact on the utilization of HIS for the management of mental illnesses and mentally ill patients.
Benefits of care coordination and utilization of community resources.
Falconer et al. (2018) note that care coordination leads to improved patient experiences and health outcomes. With adequate care coordination, effective and safe care is delivered to the patients. Medical errors such as wrong diagnosis, medication errors, and patient identification errors are eliminated when care is well-coordinated (Falconer, et al., 2018). The utilization of community resources is integral in managing mental health patients. Community institutions offer affordable services to the patients and reduce healthcare costs to both the community and the system. Patients tend to have access to adequate care while around their relatives, a practice that promotes mental health outcomes. Community resources bridge the gaps in minimizing mental healthcare disparities by availing affordable, effective, and accessible healthcare.
Telehealth is one of the leading healthcare technologies used in delivering mental health services (Groom et al., 2017). Nursing home residents can be taken care of while in the comfort of their homes. This initiative, however, faces myriad challenges such as technology incompetence. Nursing home residents are majorly geriatrics who do not know about advanced healthcare technology. Most of the families are also not familiar with healthcare technology advancements. Therefore, the implementation of telehealth in managing these patients is a considerable challenge. Thus, while health information systems are integral in managing all healthcare services, there is need for effective training for both the caregiver and the patient or patient families on their efficient use.
As illustrated above, healthcare technology has an integral role to play in the management of mental health illnesses. Care coordination, interprofessional collaboration, and utilization of community resources are integral in managing mental health and psychological issues. Despite their import, the current study has revealed that different factors impede the adoption and use of healthcare technology in mental health management, among them being inadequate funding. Nevertheless, there is need to fully embrace healthcare technology advancements since the benefits outweigh the risks not only in the management of psychiatric illnesses, but across the healthcare sector.
- Curtis, K., & Brooks, S. (2020). Digital health technology: factors affecting implementation in nursing homes. Nursing Older People, 32(2). https://10.7748/nop.2020.e1236
- Falconer, E., Kho, D., & Docherty, J. P. (2018). Use of technology for care coordination initiatives for patients with mental health issues: a systematic literature review. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 14, 2337. https://dx.doi.org/10.2147%2FNDT.S172810
- Groom, L. L., McCarthy, M. M., Stimpfel, A. W., & Brody, A. A. (2021). Telemedicine and Telehealth in Nursing Homes: An Integrative Review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15258610
- Harerimana, B., Forchuk, C., & O’Regan, T. (2019). The use of technology for mental healthcare delivery among older adults with depressive symptoms: a systematic literature review. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(3), 657-670. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12571
- Hem, M. H., Gjerberg, E., Husum, T. L., & Pedersen, R. (2018). Ethical challenges when using coercion in mental healthcare: a systematic literature review. Nursing Ethics, 25(1), 92-110. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0969733016629770
- Park, S., Langellier, B. A., & Burke, R. E. (2021). Telehealth benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans in 2020. Medical Care, 59(1), 53-57. https://doi.org/10.1097/MLR.0000000000001408
- Park, J. I., & Park, H. J. (2017). Critical review on amendment bill of Mental Health Act. Journal of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association, 56(1), 1-9. http://doi.org/10.4306/jknpa.2017.56.1.1