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article imageWhy hospitals won’t embrace telehealth post-COVID-19 Special

By Tim Sandle     Jul 16, 2020 in Health
In the wake of COVID-19, telehealth saw a massive surge as physicians and patients alike looked for alternatives to the traditional face-to-face doctor’s visit. But will this trajectory continue post-COVID?
Telemedicine and telehealth (which are slightly different concepts, with telehealth being a wider subject embracing therapy and so on; and telemedicine focused on interactions between a patient and a medical doctor) have shown increased use. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth solutions has increased significantly with the provision helping people to avoid travel, as well as reaching out to poorly served areas. Will this trajectory continue?
READ MORE: Telehealth booms amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Although telehealth solutions have proved popular with both medics (seeing more patients per day) and with patients, with life slowly returning to normal amid the reopening of workplaces, telehealth has begun to experience a decrease in activity. As an example, investigators at Harvard University and Phreesia, a health care technology company, analyzed data on changes in visit volume for the more than 50,000 providers that are Phreesia clients. These data signal a decline by around 40 percent.
Looking into this issue and the associated trends is Bill Flately, sr., who is the service delivery manager at IT and business consultancy firm OST. Flately examined why telehealth is losing steam as physicians find flaws in virtual appointments.
A key reason, Flately says, is because some physicians are against continuing to prioritize telehealth as they are concerned about the quality of care it offers. This cohort of medics do not think they can provide the same quality of care virtually as they can in-person.
It stands that while these physicians may be utilizing telehealth right now, out of necessity, they will likely look to go back to in-person appointments post-COVID - arguing that they need to see a patient in order to provide the best quality of care.
More about TeleHealth, telemedicine, Medicine, Covid19
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