Patient Safety | 11.15.22
Telehealth Brings Big Advantages for Older Adults, but New 'Guard Rails' Could Significantly Bolster Care
In a recent editorial published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, a multi-institutional team of researchers comment on a peer-reviewed report showing that people ages 65 and older appreciate telemedicine's convenience and prefer it remain available. The research team proposes a framework to ensure providers can offer care that meets three key needs: one, telehealth must be person-centered to allow visits where patients feel connected and heard; two, it must be equitable and accessible to people of all persuasions, to those with possible cognitive issues, and those residing in areas where fast Internet access is not assured; and, three, it must be integrated and coordinated with patients' overall care plans. "Without these guardrails, telehealth may further segment care, thereby increasing the chances of low-value care while further exacerbating health inequities," the authors note. "With these guardrails in place, however, telehealth has the potential to realize its promise of improving access to high-value, equitable, safe, timely, and convenient care to older adults."