Telehealth services can facilitate public health mitigation strategies during this pandemic by increasing social distancing. These services can be a safer option for HCP and patients by reducing potential infectious exposures. They can reduce the strain on healthcare systems by minimizing the surge of patient demand on facilities and reducing PPE use by healthcare providers.
Maintaining continuity of care to the extent possible can avoid additional negative consequences from delayed preventive, chronic, or routine care. Remote access to healthcare services may increase participation for those who are medically or socially vulnerable or do not have ready access to providers. Remote access can also help preserve the patient-provider relationship when an in-person visit is not practical or feasible. Telehealth services can be used to:
Screen patients who may have symptoms of COVID-19 and refer as appropriate
Provide low-risk urgent care for non-COVID-19 conditions, identify those persons who may need additional medical consultation or assessment, and refer as appropriate
Access primary care providers and specialists, including mental and behavioral health, for chronic health conditions and medication management.
Provide coaching and support for patients managing chronic health conditions, including weight management and nutrition counseling
Participate in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other modalities as a hybrid approach to in-person care for optimal health
Monitor clinical signs of certain chronic medical conditions (e.g., blood pressure, blood glucose, other remote assessments)
Engage in case-management for patients who have difficulty accessing care (e.g., those who live in very rural settings, older adults, those with limited mobility)
Follow up with patients after hospitalization.
Deliver advance care planning and counseling to patients and caregivers to document preferences if a life-threatening event or medical crisis occurs
Provide non-emergent care to residents in long-term care facilities
Provide education and training for HCP through peer-to-peer professional medical consultations (inpatient or outpatient) that are not locally available, particularly in rural areas
Contributed by https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/telehealth.html