As the COVID-19 virus wreaks havoc with the healthcare system, telemedicine is stepping up into the spotlight and helping healthcare provider organizations and caregivers better respond to the needs of Americans who have contracted the virus and Americans who need to touch base with their providers on the status of their health.
Telemedicine is making a very positive contribution to healthcare during the pandemic, and is being used in a variety of ways. But telehealth technologies do have certain limitations when it comes to treating patients during a pandemic. Further, there is a chance telemedicine could add to hospitals being overwhelmed, unless it’s used well. But hospitals are learning to adapt to telehealth during a pandemic.
Telehealth is bridging the gap between people, physicians and health systems, enabling everyone, especially symptomatic patients, to stay at home and communicate with physicians through virtual channels, helping to reduce the spread of the virus to mass populations and the medical staff on the frontlines, said Dedi Gilad, CEO and co-founder of Tyto Care, a telemedicine technology company. Critically, hospitals are quickly adopting telehealth to treat quarantined patients infected with COVID-19, he added.
“In addition, the CDC is urging the public and medical staff to use telehealth solutions for non-urgent communication in an effort to reduce the pressures facing emergency rooms and clinics,” he explained. “By deploying telehealth solutions and programs, people who are suffering from other medical ailments during this time can receive care from home, without entering medical facilities, minimizing their risk of contracting the virus.”
Telemedicine is being used extensively in the “forward triage” of patients long before they arrive in the primary care clinics, said Dr. Siaw Tung Yeng, founder and CEO of MaNaDr, a telemedicine technology and services company.
Source: Healthcare IT News
Antibiotic Prescriptions Associated With COVID-19 Outpatient Visits Among Medicare Beneficiaries, April 2020 to April 2021
Outpatient Visits for COVID-19 and Associated Antibiotic Prescriptions Among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged 65 Years or Older, by Setting, US, April 2020 to April 2021. The volume of COVID-19 visits differed by setting: emergency department, 525 608 (45.8% of all visits); office, 295 983 (25.3%); telehealth, 260 261 (22.3%); and urgent care, 77 268 (6.6%).
Source: Journal of American Medical Association Network