The pandemic has forced an increased use of telehealth services. Relaxed regulations have improved the access to telehealth services. Following legal and ethical guidlines and establishing a framework for telehealth care can improve patient satisfaction, as well as for all stakeholders involved.
Potential next steps for intervention:
- Firm up permanent Medicare and Medicaid regulations
- Increase technology access to underserved populations
Topics that require more research and can be discussed for the future:
- Patient satisfaction as the pandemic ends
- How many individuals will prefer teleheath over in person visits once the pandemic ends
- Reasons why telehealth should remain implemented once the pandemic ends
- If clinics will implement "telehealth only practitioners" who only visit with patients that opt out of in person visits when applicable.
- Research about how illness travels during in person visits (waiting room and cross contamination)
Telehealth is increasingly being offered across the nation due to the pandemic. What we know so far is that patients are fairly satisfied with this alternative access to care. Being in the midst of a pandemic, telehealth has been especially helpful in contributing to the care of patients from a safe and easily accessible standpoint. Patients are satisfied by the fact that they don’t have to sit in a waiting room and be exposed to other illnesses. One factor that has hindered telehealth care is access to connectivity and devices that support this system. This hasn’t been a major issue as most individuals use these devices on a daily basis. As younger generations age, this problem may slowly fade out. It is important to implement classes for clinicians to understand how to navigate telehealth and programs built into telehealth for easy navigating on the patient’s end. Telehealth is still a novel way of connecting with providers for care but as the age of technology advances, telehealth will as well and from recent studies, it will be a very beneficial contributor to healthcare.