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Primary Care Physicians Are Changing The Usage Of Tele-health

 Mar 20, 2023
Primary Care Physicians

Globally, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on people's lives and changed the way that many people engage with the healthcare system. The use of telemedicine was gradually increasing before the COVID-19 pandemic, however it varied across settings and medical specialties. Hospitals have typically adopted telehealth at the highest rates since it offers the greatest number of possible useful applications, despite the fact that telehealth has witnessed development across specialties. The COVID-19 pandemic's realities significantly increased telehealth use, both in hospital settings, where it had previously been most prevalent, and in outpatient settings, where acceptance had been much more unequal.

Previous studies looked into how clinicians in various fields, settings, and nations perceived and used telemedicine prior to the pandemic. The majority of doctors were supportive of employing telehealth prior to COVID-19 and recognized the advantages of improved access to care. Yet, it's significant that numerous doctors simultaneously expressed worries about upholding professional standards of care, dealing with technical issues, managing reimbursement uncertainties, their lack of telehealth training, and individual preferences for in-person care. On the flip side of the healthcare equation, people have demonstrated strong desires for virtual care that have long surpassed physicians' preparedness and enthusiasm for telehealth (Dr. Koonin).

The Pandemic caused by COVID-19 had a significant impact on telemedicine and significantly altered the landscape of healthcare. Several doctors from many specialties boosted their use of telemedicine to assist patients with the care they needed during the pandemic, helped in the United States by revisions to state legislation, federal statutes, and emergency orders increasing telehealth during the pandemic. These telehealth authorities approved new telehealth delivery methods and allowed new categories of providers to offer their services via telehealth. The COVID-19 pandemic's effects on telehealth utilization in urology, oncology, neurosurgery, pediatrics, and psychiatry have so far been the subject of research. According to this study, telehealth services have generally been well received by doctors of all disciplines. However, concerns still remain about logistics of implementation, available training, reimbursement, and fear of missing significant clinical findings during virtual visits (Dr. Patel).

Crucially, research has not yet fully examined how the pandemic may affect the use of telemedicine in primary care, the environment where patients are most likely to interact with the healthcare system. Although significant research has examined patient traits linked to telemedicine use in primary care settings during the pandemic, it is yet to be determined how the pandemic has affected primary care physicians' adoption of telehealth in the United States. Primary care doctors are the ones who patients connect with most frequently in the healthcare system, making it crucial to study how they use telehealth because any changes to how they practice telehealth could have an effect on a much larger population. For those who face obstacles to in-person care, such as those without transportation or those with certain disabilities, understanding changes in telehealth use in the primary care setting could be of utmost significance for understanding access to preventive medicine concerning the COVID-19 or future pandemics.

Research from the perspective of primary care physicians in Lebanon, Sweden, and Australia indicates some resistance to changing practice patterns and resistance to putting these services into place. In the United States, the understanding of telehealth-related conduct in primary care physicians during the pandemic is still in its infancy. More study is required to determine whether using telehealth during the pandemic affected how doctors use the technology on normal days.


1. http://www.aha.org/research/reports/tw/15jan-tw-telehealth.pdf

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7641006/

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7670397/