The Covid-19 outbreak has created some quick, short-term opportunities for providers and patients to embrace telemedicine. And while the coronavirus-related exposure to and experience with this health care tool may help accelerate acceptance, clinicians must adopt a long-term, post-pandemic approach to ensure success.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, policy makers and leaders from both the health care delivery side and the payer side were busy “reimagining” health care; but change was slow to occur because the economic incentives were not aligned with the vision. Covid-19 changed everything. Suddenly it is time to move past reimagining and begin recreating. In this article, we provide insights into the perceived impediments that led to slow adoption of telemedicine, the changes that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, and advice on how to most easily implement a telemedicine program rapidly if you do not have one. We also caution that established telemedicine programs should not embrace the short-term easing of federal restrictions and divert from best clinical practices unless absolutely necessary.