Patient Safety | 08.16.21
The Pandemic Made Telemedicine an Instant Hit. Patients and Providers Feel the Growing Pains
The pandemic compelled many major health systems, clinics, and private practices to turn to telemedicine when it was unsafe for patients to use in-person services. Even before the crisis, Zoom offered a HIPAA-compliant service tailored for health care practitioners that could be synced with Epic Systems electronic medical records. Providers often were locked in with telemedicine options from services they were already using or what they could afford. Clemson University Professor Kapil Chalil Madathil conducted a study to examine how telemedicine platforms were used during the pandemic, noting that video services were not equally prepared for the influx in users. For instance, some services required patients to download a desktop application or made them click through multiple steps to log in. Meanwhile, UCSF Health polled its patients and found they were more satisfied with their video visits than their in-person ones. Over a year later, almost one-third of outpatient visits are still conducted virtually.