Barriers and Facilitators of using Telehealth in Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management among Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners Working in Wound Care Across the Nation
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Diabetic foot ulceration has become a heavy burden on both the patient and the healthcare system. While telehealth has shown effectiveness in the management of chronic disorders, its adoption in diabetic foot care remains slow. The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing Practice project was to qualitatively explore through interviews the facilitators and barriers of using telehealth for the management of diabetic foot ulcers among registered nurses (RN) and nurse practitioners (NP) belonging to American Professional Wound Care Association. The project aim was to increase knowledge and understanding among RNs and NPs regarding utilization of telehealth in diabetic foot care to support improved patient outcomes. The Chronic Care Model and literature review findings guided development of the semi-structured interview questionnaire. Braun and Clarke’s Reflexive Thematic Analysis method was utilized to analyze data. Data analysis generated one overarching theme, There is an Opportunity for Telehealth to Continue to Gain Some Ground, and three key themes, I Do Think That There are Some Challenges; It’s Improved Our Ability to Care for Our Patients; and It’s Been Convenient for Me. Findings revealed that telehealth use among the participants contributed to improved diabetic patient outcomes, that there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth in diabetic foot care among the participants, and that telehealth is both convenient and easy to use. Future research is needed exploring telehealth educational needs and approaches among RNs and NPs to address telehealth utilization barriers and promote diabetic patient quality of life and care.