It has been interesting to watch the arc of headlines related to telehealth as we move through 2020: Year of COVID. The gist – in chronological order – has been:
“Hospitals, practices turn to an option they’ve had for years: telemedicine”
“Telehealth visits skyrocket!”
“Privacy/security concerns mount as telemedicine takes off”
“Telehealth visits show downturn; patients returning to offices?”
“Telehealth may go down as a ‘blip’ in healthcare IT”
Look, we understand that headlines are the original “click-bait” and the stories often had more nuance than the headlines (though the content generally jibed with the headlines). It has been remarkable to watch this ping-pong arch play out in fairly short order.
The reality is that we don’t know, only months along into the pandemic, what will happen over the long term with telemedicine. It seems logical that, as regulations and insurance companies catch up, there will be continued use of telemedicine for “well” visits and in-office appointments will continue for acute care. How quickly visits will resume in both cases will also be impacted by the economy (e.g., those out of work may put off care) and the result of November’s U.S. presidential election (i.e., what will become of the Affordable Care Act).
What we know for sure is that only time will tell. We also know that having a plan is key.
Knowing where you want to go at the beginning of the journey helps you stay on course even if current conditions mean a detour is the wiser short-term path. Not having a plan means every step of the way is a detour!
And when an obstacle comes up? Taking a moment to figure out the why – the root cause – of the problem is more productive than simply reacting. Perhaps the issue is something better off ignoring. Perhaps it is something that requires new intermediate steps.
One of BookZurman’s strengths is our team’s ability to work with our partner-clients to help them set a comprehensive “itinerary” that helps them avoid being whipsawed by headline events. Our seasoned, multidiscipline approach and quest for understanding helps our clients and drives the broad healthcare IT community at the same time.