For the better part of 2020, the United States had to pivot to virtual healthcare, due to the pandemic. One industry, in particular, was both interrupted and reimagined during the COVID-19 crisis in healthcare.
Clinics and hospitals very quickly had to implement, or evolve, their telehealth services in order to see and care for their patients. This virtual tool became a critical component to COVID-19’s clinical response early on, and today still remains a necessary catalyst for delivering care.
The CEO of Center for Connected Medicine, concludes, “We went from almost no telehealth to probably 90% of our visits through telehealth. The increase is exponential and unbelievable. We have learned how to do it, and our patients really like it. If COVID-19 disappeared tomorrow, we would still continue telehealth as much as we could because it is such a patient satisfier.”
Additionally Chief Medical Information Officer at UPMC, Dr. Rob Bart, stated “Technology has been so essential to the COVID-19 response at UPMC and other health systems that the line now is blurred between traditional healthcare and digital health. Technology and digital applications that once were not used to their full potential are now a permanent part of providing the best possible care for our patients.”
As the intersection of virtual technology and healthcare collide, the Becker’s Healthcare Telehealth Virtual Forum recently hosted executives from across the country to discuss the possibilities of virtual health care.
Top Takeaways from the Virtual Forum
- Corporations that recently invested in telehealth equipment shared that they were equipped once the pandemic hit. Consequently, there are numerous organizations dealing with setbacks.
- Although virtual healthcare has helped Americans throughout COVID-19, there are roadblocks for people who lack technological resources. Healthcare leaders must find solutions to satisfy these disparities.
- Health systems need to ensure that digital tools and processes (e.g. apps) are simple to use and accessible.
- Artificial intelligence can offer support for making decisions regarding treatment possibilities.
- Consumer demand will dictate the telehealth business model post-pandemic. Patients will presume virtual options and will integrate those choices into their value-based care models. Providers that incorporate a fee-for-service model will be impacted by this modification.
- Hospital organizations encouraged to adjust their telehealth training for providers and patients. Experts suggest producing interchangeable, informative chapters during this unprecedented global pandemic.
For more information on telehealth and how the medical field has been impacted by the novel coronavirus, be sure to visit our website.