Current Content
Volume 42 - Number 6
November/December 2016

Pediatric Diabetes Telemedicine Program Improves Access to Care for Rural Families: Role of APRNs
Nancy Marie Smith and Rosemarie DiMauro Satyshur

Type 1 diabetes mellitus has increased in children by 23% from 2001 to 2009. Rural communities additionally have increased disparities related to access barriers and a large minority population with poorer overall health. Research evidence supports telemedicine as an effective alternative to bring preventive diabetes care to remote areas. This article presents an overview of the leadership role of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with the implementation and evaluation of a pediatric diabetes telemedicine program at a rural pediatric outpatient specialty clinic in partnership with a tertiary center telemedicine network. The telemedicine program quality improvement (QI) project explored caregiver satisfaction with a convenience sample of caregivers (N = 14) using a nine-item Telemedicine Diabetes Caregiver Satisfaction Survey (TDCSS), with responses ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree. Findings indicate caregivers were highly satisfied with communication/ privacy (M = 4.8), access to care (M = 4.1), and quality of services (M = 5.0). The multidisciplinary collaborative teamwork, continuous QI, and dependable technology were integral to the quality of the telemedicine clinical initiative. APRNs provided technology expertise, interdisciplinary collaboration leadership, care coordination, and advocacy for policy changes. Results demonstrate that telemedicine and APRN leadership can help implement innovative programs into rural communities to improve access to care, healthcare cost, and outcomes.