Virtual Health Replaced Some In-Person Visits During the Pandemic, But Can It Transform Health Care?
While virtual health has the potential to transform the way care is delivered, it’s too soon to know if that potential will be realized. The shift from paper medical records to electronic medical records promised a similar transformation, yet EMRs never fully captured the benefits of a digital platform. Instead, they typically replicate the paper documentation processes. As a result, documentation and workflow became more cumbersome and contributed to increased clinician burnout.
Between March and April 2020 - as concern about the COVID-19 pandemic grew - demand for virtual care skyrocketed with some organizations seeing up to 40-fold increases in volume. By July, however, utilization declined and plateaued, comprising just 21% of total encounters - down from 69% in April.
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