Telemedicine in a COVID-19 Environment

By: Meredith Crain

Starting in March in the U.S., Coronavirus shifted our perception of “normal”. While telemedicine was used before COVID-19, it has become the one of the safest ways for physicians to connect with their patients. According to Definitive Healthcare, “75% of U.S. hospitals are leveraging telehealth more than before the COVID-19 pandemic”. Most patients do not want to risk contracting the virus and hospital capacities across the country are at an all-time high. Telemedicine will continue to become more popular and convenient as patients feel safer connecting to their physician by video call in a routine situation.

Roughly 60% of the US population lives with a chronic illness or condition, and fear of COVID-19 has kept these patients from seeking the preventative care that they need in person. As a result, we see that specific specialties have adopted telemedicine quicker than others. According to a study by Doximity, topping a list of the top 10 specialties that are actively using telemedicine are endocrinologists and rheumatologists, doctors that manage chronic illnesses. Telemedicine provides a viable social distanced option to both doctors and patients that are used to frequent in office visits.

Regionally, the northeast is reporting the highest use of telemedicine with a 52,811 percent increase from last year. This is due to the high population in those areas and the presence of New York City which was the epicenter for initial COVID-19 cases in the US.

Due to the sensitive nature of our environment due to the pandemic, telehealth has become more accessible than previous years. Telehealth claims have increased 4,545 percent from April 2019 to April 2020. Patients appreciate the safety and convenience that telemedicine offers, and doctors appreciate the efficiency of still being able to treat their patients. Telemedicine provides a safe space by reducing potential infectious exposures. The remote accessibility increases participation for those who are medically and socially vulnerable and do not have access to a provider.

If your organization is seeking experienced doctors that utilize telemedicine to better serve your community, Curative finds incredible talent with less hassle using better data. As an affiliate of Doximity, the world’s largest professional medical network, we utilize intelligent technology to re-engineer the healthcare staffing delivery model. 

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