Glen Tullman of Med City News shares insights about transformation to telehealth that may take place after COVID-19. Tullman cites the primary barrier keeping people from accessing healthcare in urban and rural settings, which is issues with transportation, has legitimized the use of virtual care. Telehealth has been found to be more convenient and accessible, with lower waiting times and no transportation barrier, while continuing to provide positive experiences to patients.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual health visits have went from occurring approximately 10% to 90% percent of the time, and has allowed for patients and providers to stay safe from transmission of the virus in addition to providing convenient care. On average, virtual health visits last for the same time as in-person visits. Tullman points out that in the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the question of “whether telehealth will play a substantial role” to “how virtual care will reinvent our experience.”
The article identifies that in addition to providing appointments virtually, virtual care can also incorporate advanced data science to enhance patient care, such as gathering health information between sessions and relaying it to the client and provider in a digestible way.
This practice promotes accurate monitoring by providers and encouraging and supportive self-monitoring for patients. When patients take the time and have the resources to self-monitor, they are able to respond to their own needs between sessions with appropriate actions, whether that is a change to diet, exercise, use of coping skills, or scheduling a sooner appointment with their provider.