Telehealth has been used for decades and has facilitated and enhanced care for hundreds of thousands of patient encounters. The ability to care for patients remotely is of great value in acute and emergency care, inpatient settings, and during disasters. It particularly helps those living in a rural community who often have unequal access to emergency care.
Low cost, high bandwidth data transmission has introduced a host of new applications, but qualitative and quantitative studies describing outcomes, cost effectiveness, and other metrics are limited. Read the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)’s Telehealth Section White Paper on the progress and future of telehealth.
The adoption of telehealth presents exciting opportunities to create a more cost-effective health care system, consolidate health records, and increase access to high-quality stroke and trauma care regardless of a patient’s geographic location.
ACEP advocates at the federal level to improve telehealth. Most recently, emergency physicians helped inform and championed the bipartisan Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021, which promotes the use of telehealth services in Medicare. ACEP directly contributed to this legislation, providing recommendations and working directly with Senator Schatz’s office on language included in the bill specific to emergency medicine.