Telehealth Readiness Assessment of Perinatal Nurses

Nurs Womens Health. 2022 Feb 7:S1751-4851(22)00004-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nwh.2022.01.004. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To assess telehealth readiness among perinatal nurses in New Jersey.

DESIGN: Cohort survey study.

SETTING/LOCAL PROBLEM: New Jersey was one of the hardest hit areas in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth represented an opportunity to provide continuity of perinatal care at a time when health care was significantly disrupted.

PARTICIPANTS: Perinatal nurses in New Jersey.

INTERVENTION/MEASUREMENTS: The intervention was a five-part, 90-question online survey provided via e-mail invitation to New Jersey State Nursing Association members. Data were collected from June 25 to July 9, 2020. Descriptive statistics, frequency analyses, a Mann-Whitney test on nonparametric measures of groups by age, and a one-tailed t test were completed. Results of the Telehealth Readiness Assessment tool were calculated. Open-text responses were organized and used to illustrate the findings.

RESULTS: Fifty-two perinatal nurses responded to the survey. Twenty-two (42%) completed all 90 questions. Partial answers were accepted. Synchronous live telehealth expanded 66% in the wake of COVID-19. Results showed that 37% (n = 15) of participants used telehealth at work, and 27% (n = 11) used it in getting care for themselves or a family member (M = 2.0, SD = 0.86; one-tailed t test, p = .25). In comparing nervousness in using technology with age, scores for those younger than 45 years (Mdn = 3) and those older than 45 years (Mdn = 2) showed no statistically significant difference, U(n<45years = 15, n≥45 years = 17) = 11, z = -0.02, p < .83. Overall, 46% (n = 26) indicated that telehealth could be extremely helpful or very helpful in reducing health care disparities and improving quality. Overall, telehealth readiness was ranked almost ready.

CONCLUSION: A telehealth readiness assessment may identify barriers and opportunities that can predict success and failure. Nurses generally accept technology and believe that telehealth could be useful in reducing poor maternal health outcomes and health care disparities.

PMID:35143778 | DOI:10.1016/j.nwh.2022.01.004