Today, remote work is becoming a popular phenomenon across a variety of industries. Many are surprised to find out that even healthcare professionals are now starting to transition into work-from-home jobs that allow them to forego the commute to a healthcare facility or office.
Unfortunately, this rise in digital and remote patient care is giving some people cause for concern. Specifically, how this growing innovation is affecting patient safety.
Gaining a deeper understanding of why more healthcare professionals are opting to work remotely and how this affects the patients they serve is key to cultivating an accurate perspective on healthcare in the modern age.
Here are the reasons why work-from-home nursing jobs are on the rise and how this affects patient safety and identity.
Nurses want more Flexibility and Balance
While nursing roles can be extremely fulfilling and secure, they can also be strenuous. Often, this extra stress stems from nurses being overworked to the point of experiencing burnout and exhaustion.
As a result of being consistently overworked and experiencing high levels of stress, many nurses are now hungry for less taxing ways to engage in the profession of nursing. In other words, nurses across the country are beginning to prioritize work-life balance like never before. This being the case, many nurses are now competing for remote roles that allow them to engage in their profession from the comfort of their own homes.
In addition to being in a less stressful environment, work-from-home nursing roles have the potential to allow nurses to have more flexibility. This can come in the form of different types of schedules or even different types of roles.
Ultimately, many nurses are now viewing remote positions as more conducive to their needs than in-person roles. As such, more and more of these professionals are now taking the leap and exploring work-from-home options.
The Rise of Telehealth
In the past, remote or work-from-home nursing roles were virtually unheard of. The biggest reason for this is that the technology and infrastructure necessary to pull this type of arrangement off were difficult, if not impossible, to find.
Today, however, this is far from the case. Telehealth, the practice of providing patient care through electronic means, has exploded in the last several years. As a result of this new and innovative practice becoming commonplace, remote nursing has become more conducive to patient care.
As remote care continues to rise in popularity, more and more work-from-home nursing jobs are becoming available to healthcare professionals. In fact, even professionals from other industries are now considering nursing as a second career given the increase in remote options.
What this seems to indicate is that there may have always been a desire among nurses to work remotely but there simply weren’t any options for this type of work. As these options become more available, it seems that more and more nurses will take the leap and explore work-from-home options.
The Problem of Rural Healthcare
Those living in rural areas often have far less access to healthcare resources than their city-dwelling counterparts. This being the case, remote healthcare options have become increasingly popular for rural residents.
Given the large number of rural residents in need of healthcare, there is a marked need for nurses with the skills to provide care through digital means. As a result, more remote roles are arising for nurses in order to address the problem of rural health.
Since rural health is one of healthcare’s major problems currently, it’s likely that the number of these rural health-oriented remote nursing roles will continue to rise in popularity.
The Cost of Living is Increasing Everywhere
Sadly, almost every American city is currently feeling the effects of inflation and rising costs. Two areas that are being particularly impacted are that of cars and gas. As a result, many professionals are looking for ways to lower their costs by saving on gas or getting rid of their cars completely.
For nurses, commutes can sometimes be significant. This is especially true for nurses who work at facilities in urban centers where rent is higher. To combat these costs, many nurses are now looking for remote roles.
Work-from-home nursing roles allow nurses to continue to command a decent salary without having to pay exorbitant fees for gas and other costs associated with commuting. For this reason, remote options are becoming increasingly popular among nurses across the country.
How Digital Care is Affecting Patient Safety
As has been noted, there is a growing concern that digital care is potentially compromising the safety of patients, their private information, and their identities. However, healthcare organizations across the country are taking robust measures to protect their patients and deliver them high-quality remote care.
Essentially, patients are put at risk of having their information leaked if cybercriminals are able to hack the defenses of healthcare organizations and gain access to their networks and databases. However, given the fact that most healthcare organizations have already made their processes digital, such as in the case of electronic health records, remote care itself is not the only process creating risk for patients.
While remote care may create more weak points that hackers may try to exploit, there is already a risk of patient information being hacked whether nurses work remotely or not. For this reason, it seems safe to say that while work-from-home nursing may have some effect on the safety of patient information, it isn’t as significant of an impact as many believe.
Remote Nursing is the Future of Healthcare
Though some are skeptical about the safety of work-from-home nursing, remote healthcare will likely play a key role in the future of healthcare. Hopefully, this innovation in the space will help make healthcare processes more efficient, increase work satisfaction among nurses, and make healthcare more convenient for patients across the country.