Technology, Care Coordination, and Community Resources

An expectation of a rise in hypertension cases will continue because of continued lifestyle practices in developed countries. The condition is a high risk, but many nations are giving it less attention than it deserves. Haileamlak’s (2019) study showed an increase of hypertension disease in the global disease burden from around 4.6% in 2000 to about 7% in 2010. The study projected that by 2025, 1.6 billion people globally would have been affected by the condition. The disease is a top risk factor in ophthalmological, neurological, kidney, and other cardiovascular diseases. It is a leading cause of premature death globally, and thus its early control and prevention are necessary. This paper will analyze health care technology impacts, coordination of care, and community resources spent on hypertensive patients.

Incorporating electronic technologies in medicare has improved the quality of care delivered to the hypertensives. The two most common technological advancements combined are telehealthcare and mobile health (m-health). Telehealthcare allows the sharing of medical knowledge via modern telecommunication means, and thus, the physician can diagnose the patient’s condition over a long distance. Omboni et al. (2018) argue that incorporating telehealth practice in hypertension management will significantly improve the control of the disease. They suggest that the method will provide a patient’s care even at far geographical distances. The collaborative aspects between the practitioner and patient emphasized are lifestyle education, cardiovascular factors risk control, and therapeutic hypertension management.

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M-health entails using the mobile phone to communicate between the health practitioner and the patient. The phone consultations have vastly helped many patients globally effectively manage their hypertension even from home. According to Grant et al. (2019), hypertension telemonitoring gives additional benefits to the patient. M-health effectively empowers and impacts hypertensive attitudes, thus improving their medical condition.

It helps improve the medicare access these patients have, thus facilitating the road towards recovery. The results also showed that telemonitoring is an effective way of blood pressure regulation in many patients. The patients communicate with the physicians about the change in their blood pressure. The physicians can offer medical advice on the management of the disease. There is an increased engagement between the practitioner and the patient, which improves the adherence to the medication. Telehealth and m-health technology are consistent with the technology I used to manage Josephine’s health condition.

Various factors hinder the proper incorporation of telehealth and m-health technology in the management of hypertensive patients. According to Kruse et al. (2020), cost, inadequate technical support, lack of desire, illiteracy, internet mistrust of privacy and security, and computer anxiety were the fundamental barriers to technology incorporation. The technology anxieties with trust are prevalent in older people. Elimination of the barriers to telehealth and m-health integration is essential in attaining a better overall outcome for the patient.

Quality care coordination entails the organization of patient care programs between the participants involved in the patient care to improve the delivery of health care services. Coordination of care is an essential practice that can help in providing quality health care to patients. Dzau and Balatbat (2019) suggested that coordinated care improves understanding of the environmental factors and lifestyle modifications that can help control hypertension. They also indicated that they link shared decision-making and coordinated care to improved patient outcomes and reduction in the treatment costs of hypertension.

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In nursing practice, various barriers hinder effective care coordination towards the patients. According to Balasubramanian et al. (2021), obstacles associated with care coordination include poor communication between the practitioner and the patient, inequity of access to medical facilities by patients, and lack of proper leadership awareness. Lack of explicit knowledge to manage a set condition by the personnel significantly affects the coordinated care entitled to a patient. Reduced patient contact with the practitioners also affects the care. Tu et al. (2018) proved that ineffective communication in clinical setups affects coordinated care for hypertensives. The improper communication between the practitioner or the health personnel and the patient adversely the patient’s outcome.

Management of hypertension requires a collaborative effect between the community, individuals, and the government. Low economic levels are associated with some hypertension patients, leading to a lack of essential resources such as food, medication, housing, and affordable health care. Several community resources available can help hypertension patient manage their condition. Rosales et al. (2020) show that Health Safety Net resources can help underinsured and uninsured people. The resource helps the marginalized public members have access to proper hypertensive medication. It thus helps to bridge the inequity gap in the community in having access to health care facilities.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed community toolkits to reduce hypertension prevalence in society. The CDC (2021) has created public resources that houses valuable information which helps in hypertension management. Both hypertensives and normotensives community members access material that helps them adopt a healthy living style. It helps prevent hypertension, reducing the overall cost incurred by a nation and individuals in hypertension control. It facilitates education to the people through the valuable information found on their website. They sensitize a raised awareness that high blood pressure control is possible through the toolkit found on the website.

In modern times, government policies significantly impact health technology, community resources, and care coordination. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) play a considerable role in determining the health of the hypertensives. McKenna et al. (2017)proved that ACA had improved the medical access of hypertensive patients. Following the enactment of the policy, it prioritized care conditions among the patients, consequently improving the patient’s outcome. Improved satisfaction of the patient in the health care system improves as their needs are met.

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Some health policies have been enacted to protect the private health information of the patients. Iguchi et al. (2018) showed that the HIPAA policy has a patient-privacy information protection policy to safeguard the patients’ data. Preserving hypertensive patient privacy information improves the care coordination accorded to these individuals. The patients trust the health practitioners, and thus they can share vital information with the clinician who could significantly lead to the proper management of the disease. Based on MacMillan et al. (2017), nursing practice standards require nurses to demonstrate competence and clinical skills in their practice.

Ensuring this promotes quality and safe health care for hypertensive patients. Stievano & Tschudin (2019) show that nurses must establish justice, fairness, honesty, respect, and prioritize meeting clients’ needs. The code significantly helps improve the quality of health care delivered to the hypertensives. Nurses showing ethics in clinical practice improve patient satisfaction, thus easing the suggested lifestyle modification practices.

During the assessment of hypertension’s impact on the quality of care, technology, and government policies, I spoke to Mrs. Josephine Carly, a 71-year-old hypertensive female who had been selected for this practicum. I spent three hours with her weekly for six weeks discussing issues regarding her condition. During the assessment of the quality of care received, she stated she experienced various barriers to her hypertension control. She said that she had inadequate knowledge of condition control and was not correctly adhering to the medication. She also expressed mistrust in the telehealth’s incorporation practice, as she feared the privacy of their medical condition.

During the one month of clinical follow-up, I extensively discussed the importance of adhering to the medication. I also stressed the significance of lifestyle modification, such as quitting smoking and performing regular exercises to manage the condition. I noted to Josephine that the nursing code of ethics emphasizes maintaining patients’ medical information privacy, and thus she should trust practitioners to help control her condition. I also told her that HIPAA policy values the protection of the confidentiality of patients’ medical information. I explained to her the importance of the Affordable Care act in improving access to hypertensive treatment, and she should use it. She stated she had retired and thus faced economic constraints towards attaining the required level of health.

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Josephine showed a willingness to encompass telehealth technology in managing hypertension. She also agreed to change her lifestyle and started exercising, reduced salt intake, and quit smoking. Josephine finally recognized the importance of telehealth and M-care in disease control and prevention, as I effectively helped her manage her condition during the follow-up. She adhered to the antihypertensive medications together with these lifestyle practices. Josephine’s blood pressure had fallen between one and two months of the follow-up, and she was pleased. She also joined HIPAA, which secured her medical insurance, thus promoting and sustaining her health.

Many hypertensive patients globally do not receive well-coordinated patient care, which affects their overall health status. Technology integration in hypertension management, especially M-health and telehealth, helps the clinicians facilitate better and improved care to the patient. Community resources, such as Health Safety Net and toolkits developed by the CDC, can help hypertensive individuals manage their condition. Nurses should recognize the significance of coordinated care for hypertensive patients. The Affordable Act has improved health care access for hypertensive patients. A clinical follow-up of Josephine enabled her to realize the importance of lifestyle modification and medication adherence.

References

Balasubramanian, B. A., Higashi, R. T., Rodriguez, S. A., Sadeghi, N., Santini, N. O., & Lee, S. C. (2021). Thematic analysis of challenges of care coordination for underinsured and uninsured cancer survivors with chronic conditions. JAMA Network Open, 4(8), e2119080. Web.

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Dzau, V. J., & Balatbat, C. A. (2019). Future of hypertension. Hypertension, 74(3), 450–457. Web.

Grant, S., Hodgkinson, J., Schwartz, C., Bradburn, P., Franssen, M., Hobbs, F. R., Jowett, S., McManus, R. J., & Greenfield, S. (2019). Using mHealth for the management of hypertension in UK primary care: An embedded qualitative study of the TASMINH4 randomized controlled trial. British Journal of General Practice, 69(686), e612–e620. Web.

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Kruse, C., Fohn, J., Wilson, N., Nunez_Patlin, E., Zipp, S., & Mileski, M. (2020). Barriers to utilizing and medical outcomes commensurate with the use of telehealth among older adults: A systematic review (preprint). JMIR Medical Informatics, 8(8). Web.

MacMillan, K., Oulton, J., Bard, R., & Nicklin, W. (2017). Americanizing Canadian nursing: nursing regulation drift. Health Reform Observer – Observatoire Des Réformes de Santé, 5(3). Web.

McKenna, R. M., Alcalá, H. E., Lê-Scherban, F., Roby, D. H., & Ortega, A. N. (2017). The Affordable Care Act reduces hypertension treatment disparities for Mexican-heritage latinos. Medical Care, 55(7), 654–660. Web.

Omboni, S., Tenti, M., & Coronetti, C. (2018). Physician–pharmacist collaborative practice and telehealth may transform hypertension management. Journal of Human Hypertension, 33(3), 177–187. Web.

Rosales, R., Takeuchi, D., & Calvo, R. (2020). After the Affordable Care Act: The effects of the health safety net and the Medicaid expansion on latinxs’ use of behavioral healthcare in the US. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research. Web.

Stievano, A., & Tschudin, V. (2019). The ICN code of ethics for nurses: A time for revision. International Nursing Review, 66(2), 154–156. Web.

Tu, Q., Xiao, L. D., Ullah, S., Fuller, J., & Du, H. (2018). Hypertension management for community-dwelling older people with diabetes in Nanchang, China: Study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial. Trials, 19(1). Web.

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