Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The purpose of this paper was to explore the historical relevance, success stories, and future implications of telehealth. This is an important topic due to the advancing age of our population. Along with that advancing age, comes increased chronic illness. In addition, many patients are unable to attend visits to healthcare practitioners due to limited mobility, rural setting, or lack of transportation.

A literature review was conducted utilizing CINAHL, and a total of 42 articles were reviewed for this paper. The initial search terms used were "telehealth". This elicited 2,952 articles. Utilizing the filters of publish date of 2002 and later, in the United States, and adults, dropped this number to 199.

The key findings of this literature review centered on a few key concepts. First, telehealth has been utilized throughout the ages. It was first used in Europe during the bubonic plague with the lighting of bonfires. It continued through the use of Morse Code, telephone, television, and internet. Second, there are many studies that have shown its effectiveness in preventing hospital stays in patients with chronic diseases and increasing access to care. However, numerous barriers still exist. These barriers need to be studied and addressed in over to be overcome. They include financial funding, standardized education, and legal issues such as licensing and HIPPA compliance.