The pandemic dramatically altered the trajectory of telehealth and virtual care. The rapid adoption of telehealth tools across a wide variety of care settings and specialties helped keep both providers and patients safe, and offered a financial lifeline to organizations struggling to navigate lockdowns. According to Health Center Program Data, only 43% of health centers were capable of providing telemedicine in 2019, compared with 95% of the health centers that reported using telehealth during the pandemic.
Patients in remote rural areas and urban centers alike benefitted from safe, convenient access to their providers. They’ve now come to expect the option to see their providers virtually if an in-person visit isn’t necessary or convenient. In many regards, telehealth has been a shining example of how technology can be deployed to extend access to convenient, high-quality, patient-centered care in ways that both enhance outcomes and reduce costs. At the same time, technology gaps still exist among certain populations who don’t have access to smartphones or the Internet generally, and many providers express sadness that seeing patients virtually hinders their ability to meaningfully connect.
In this session moderated by Dr. John Halamka, we will examine how telehealth services were extended at three different organizations, spanning widely disparate care settings across a range of patient populations — from a large delivery network in the upper Midwest with hundreds of practices in remote rural areas, to an urban healthcare system serving low-income communities of color, to a mental and behavioral health center using innovative technologies to keep patients, providers, therapists, and even first responders safe.
Panelists will discuss how they rapidly advanced telehealth solutions to respond to the pandemic, including what worked, what didn’t and what their organizations will take with them moving forward.
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Sponsored by Meditech