Telehealth Utilization in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Current State of Medical Provider Training

Ragan Dubose-Morris, Christina Coleman*, Sonja I. Ziniel, Dana A. Schinasi, S. David Mcswain

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the development of telehealth services and thus the need for telehealth education and training to support rapid implementation at scale. A national survey evaluating the current state of the telehealth landscape was deployed to organizational representatives, and included questions related to education and training. Materials and Methods: In the summer of 2020, 71 survey participants (31.8%) completed an online survey seeking to determine the utilization of telehealth services across institutional types and locations. This included data collected to specifically compare the rates and types of formal telehealth education provided before and during the pandemic. Results: Thirty percent of organizations reported no telehealth training before COVID-19, with those in suburban/rural settings significantly less likely to provide any training (55% vs. 82%) compared with urban. Pandemic-related training changes applied to 78% of organizations, with more change happening to those without any training before COVID-19 (95%). Generally, organizations offering training before the pandemic reported deploying COVID-19-related telehealth services, while a higher percentage of those without any training beforehand reported that they either did not plan on providing these services or were in the early planning stages. Discussion: Telehealth education is moving from elective to essential based on the need to prepare and certify the workforce to support high-quality telehealth services. Conclusions: As telehealth continues to evolve to meet the future health care service needs of patients and providers, education and training will advance to meet the needs of everyday clinical encounters and broader public health initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1185
Number of pages8
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • medical education
  • online education
  • research
  • telehealth
  • telemedicine
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics

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