A recent trend in health care that I think will affect public health nursing in the future is the move towards telehealth medicine. The utilization of telehealth medicine was already underway in healthcare; however, the global pandemic gave providers no choice but to kick start this movement in order to continue healthcare services for the population. A barrier that was faced before the pandemic was reimbursement guidelines for telehealth medicine for both primary and specialty care (CDC, 2020). However, once private and public clinics were closed, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made a limited-time change for allowable reimbursement for medical visits by expanding their definition to include the telehealth visits. Overall, I view this trend towards telehealth medicine as a positive influence on public health nursing. It will allow for continuity of patient care and can avoid additional negative consequences from delayed preventative, chronic, or routine care (CDC, 2020). Although, there are situations that require in-person visits that are related to urgency or the need for an actual physical exam, there are many chronic conditions that can in fact be handled through technological advancements in medicine and telehealth visits.
Furthermore, having remote access to healthcare services may increase participation for those who are medically or socially vulnerable or who do not have ready access to providers (CDC, 2020). Lastly, another benefit telehealth medicine can have on public health nursing is increasing the engagement in case management for those individuals that have a difficult time accessing care. For example, those who live in rural areas, elderly population and those with limited mobility.