In 2020 and 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic was surging – and people needed telehealth services to get care while staying safe at home. Health care systems rushed to create new telehealth services or expand their virtual offerings, and policymakers provided short-term flexibilities and incentives to support this telehealth expansion.
What were we collectively learning? What were the implications for the future of telehealth? What should continue and what should change?
A June 2021 IHP forum explored shifts in telehealth and telehealth policy, and how the U.S. health care system can ensure that telehealth supports high-quality, coordinated, accessible, and equitable care.
The telehealth focused forum drew 230 attendees for the live event, with registrants from legislative offices, several government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Trade Commission, and others in philanthropy, academia, think tanks, health systems, trade organizations, and advocacy groups. A video recording of the event has been viewed more than 1,850 times – expanding our reach to more than 2,000 total viewers.
The event featured leading telehealth experts, including Tadashi Funahashi MD, Kaiser Permanente Southern California chief innovation officer; Richard Bakalar MD, vice president and chief strategy officer at ViTel Net; and Veenu Aulakh, senior innovation fellow for the Center for Care Innovations.
We also recognized that public policy audiences would be interested in Kaiser Permanente data on patient perspectives and care delivery trends. To provide accessible resources on these topics for policy leaders, we developed new products in partnership with Kaiser Permanente data and communications teams.
We created two new videos on telehealth, helping ground the conversation in patients’ real-world telehealth experiences.
To share additional information on Kaiser Permanente’s experiences and perspectives, IHP leveraged multiple Kaiser Permanente data sources to create a new illustrated overview of Kaiser Permanente’s telehealth experience during the COVID-19 pandemic that highlights our long-standing commitment to telehealth and our focus on integrated telehealth care and equity.
The illustrated overview and videos are based on original Kaiser Permanente research on care delivery trends and patient experiences. They were produced in partnership with Kaiser Permanente data and communications leaders.
We authored a telehealth article that was featured on About Kaiser Permanente, and themes from the event were highlighted in an IHP blogpost. These publications have reached more than 3,000 unique visitors to date.
Telehealth after the pandemic
The rapid adoption of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic will shape the
future of health care.
Reflections on the perils and promise of telehealth
Forum speaker Veenu Aulakh, Senior Innovation Fellow at the Center for Care Innovations gives her thoughts on telehealth.