When the COVID-19 pandemic restricted non-emergency care, healthcare systems in the US had to adapt quickly to continue caring for patients, whether through virtual doctor visits, remote monitoring. of patients or mobile clinics who meet underserved communities where they are.
More than half of American consumers saw a doctor virtually during the pandemic, and 29 percent of adults helped someone else in their home attend a virtual visit. according to Deloitte research. For many, the accessibility of virtual care inspired them to continue scheduling virtual appointments even after COVID-19 vaccines began to be rolled out.
Virtual care options such as video conferencing and remote patient monitoring can help patients who would otherwise have difficulty traveling to the hospital, while programs such as mobile clinics can offer primary and preventive care to people who Similarly, they face barriers to accessing the crucial care they need. “Mobile clinics can improve access by serving as a vital link between the community and clinical facilities,” a 2020 analysis of the Mobile Health Map database.
Get out of the office
At the University of Miami Pediatric Mobile Clinic, what began as a disaster response initiative after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 now cares for about 3,000 patients a year. “Being able to solve public health problems through mobile medicine, through a program that only cares for the underserved, has been truly extraordinary and extremely rewarding,” said Dr. Lisa Gwynn, medical director of the clinic. , He says HealthTech.
And in Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital has telehealth services backed by strong security to better serve patients who would otherwise face long commutes to campus.
The pandemic may have accelerated or improved many of these solutions in the US, but they have staying power. Ultimately, the ability to tailor care to the myriad needs of patients improves relationships between health care systems and the communities they serve.