‘Telehealth is the new normal’
SAN DIEGO – Nursing students at the University of San Diego Hahn School of Nursing are being trained in a telehealth curriculum founded on a platform provided by telehealth solutions provider SnapMD.
The school structured its telehealth curriculum around SnapMD’s Virtual Care Management platform because it offers a single suite of scalable enterprise software that gives providers all the tools needed to delivery virtual care, said Dr. Jonathan Mack, director of the Health Care Informatics and Nursing Informatics programs at USD.
“This is not emerging technology—it’s already here,” he said. “We want our students to be trained and ready to use it when they graduate.”
To focus the telehealth training, the school created the Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, Advanced Practice and Simulation, which includes the Dickinson Nursing Simulation Center, a state-of-the-art lab that replicates hospital and clinic patient rooms. The facility also houses a patient apartment for on-site or virtual patient visits.
SnapMD’s VCM platform includes all of the features needed to practice any form of medicine suitable for telehealth and was designed specifically for health care providers to launch a virtual medical clinic and digital exam room, said Dave Skibinski, president and CEO of SnapMD. The cloud-based platform serves as a digital hub for scalable virtual care.
Mack said the SnapMD platform is easy to use for both providers and patients, and can expand and integrate with other systems and digital devices like wireless stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors and opthalmoscopes.
USD has made telehealth training a required part of the graduate nursing program for the past four years and Mack believes the school’s model will be adopted across the country in the future.
“We really see telehealth as a modality for expanding health care access and reducing the cost of care,” he said. “In a couple of years it’s going to be standard practice. Telehealth is the new normal in health care.”