Telehealth has become the go-to solution for health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling providers and consumers to remain in contact for routine and non-emergency visits while brick-and-mortar spaces have been closed. Now that health care is reopening, however, telehealth remains a preferred communications medium, and many providers plan to expand it much more going forward.
So, it’s time to ask: Are the services we are offering through telehealth really delivering the best health care possible? And, are there unintended consequences to our telehealth delivery?
If we are going to expand the use of services through a telehealth delivery, we should figure out how to make telehealth a tool for achieving transformational care, not just stopgap medicine. We must also be very careful to avoid creating unintended consequences of reduced health care services for those with limited Internet access or other obstacles to telehealth.