HIMSS CMIO Roundtable preview: How COVID-19 changed telehealth

June 23, 2021 |  Physician, Health IT, Patients, Virtual Visits

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Among the many societal changes wrought by COVID-19, the pandemic accelerated adoption of telehealth at a rate unthinkable just a year earlier.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a study in late 2020 that showed that less than half of participating Health Resources and Services Administration–funded health centers were capable of providing telemedicine in 2019, compared with 95 percent that reported using telehealth during the pandemic.

This rapid increase in telehealth occurred as ambulatory visits fell by some 60 percent in the early days of the pandemic outbreak, the CDC reported. 

Paired with new reimbursement models established by HRSA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMA), this adoption of telehealth allowed health centers to reach more patients, keep their providers safe, and bolster their finances.

As vaccination rates continue to rise and new cases of COVID-19 fall, health centers now have the opportunity to review their approach to telehealth and decide their course ahead.

For some healthcare organizations, telehealth has become a core part of their care delivery; for others — particularly those that focus on specialty care — virtual care is an effective complement to in-person appointments, and a resource that they can utilize at a moment’s notice.

At the upcoming HIMSS CMIO Roundtable, Beyond the Pandemic: Telehealth, Virtual Care, and the Road Ahead, a panel of physician executives will discuss their rapid adoption and deployment of virtual care and telehealth, and how it affected frontline caregivers and their patients.

With moderator Dr. John Halamka, president of the Mayo Clinic Platform, we’re looking forward to welcoming Dr. Andy Burchett, CMIO of Avera Health; Dr. John Tollerson, CMIO of Kalispell Regional Healthcare, and Dr. Phil Klassen, vice president of medical services at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, to examine how they deployed telehealth services in novel ways at their three unique organizations.

Although their organizations span widely disparate care settings across a range of patient populations — from a large delivery network spanning hundreds of practices across remote rural areas, to a smaller rural community health organization, to an urban mental and behavioral health center — they all embraced innovative technologies to keep patients, providers, therapists, and even first responders safe. 

Our panel will also discuss how they rapidly expanded our telehealth solutions to respond to the pandemic, including what worked, what didn’t, and what their organizations will take with them moving forward. 

And they’ll identify important issues around patient access, including the technology gaps that still exist among populations who don’t have access to smartphones or the internet.

Please join us for what promises to be a highly informative and educational session about telehealth beyond the pandemic by registering below.

Hear from three physician executives about their experiences with telehealth during COVID-19 and beyond.

Sign Up For The HIMSS Telehealth Webinar

Written by Christine Parent, Associate Vice President, MEDITECH

Christine Parent’s well-rounded and smart approach to problem solving has long guided MEDITECH toward stronger relationships across the care continuum. Today, she brings her rich EHR knowledge to the role of associate vice president of marketing--spreading the word on how MEDITECH empowers healthcare organizations, through our company branding, online presence, public relations, and customer events, as well as developing and executing MEDITECH’s “go-to-market” strategy.