The COVID-19 crisis accelerated telehealth opportunities in South Carolina. And, with the crisis of a global pandemic making 2020 a year like no other, we take a look at the top 10 most impactful telehealth stories of the year.
In South Carolina, many children were unable to participate in online schooling when the global pandemic struck earlier this year. Similarly, hundreds of thousands of people in the Palmetto State could not receive telehealth services or work remotely because they lacked access to high-speed Internet service.
As the impact of the coronavirus continues to evolve and expand, doctors and healthcare providers are continually being forced to reimagine the way they deliver care to their patients on a fundamental level. Providers are relying on live video appointments with patients, commonly known as telehealth, to address concerns during the pandemic.
As COVID-19 positive patients seek treatment, many are turning to remote monitoring via telehealth as a way to manage their symptoms and maintain contact with their healthcare providers.
Students in South Carolina’s public schools have spent much of 2020 attending school virtually after face-to-face instruction was limited due to COVID-19. Schools weren’t alone as they scrambled to operate in a virtual model. In the wake of the pandemic, healthcare providers also rushed to transition many services online.
There is growing evidence that some racial and ethnic minority groups have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Inequities in the social determinants of health, including access to healthcare, have resulted in higher levels of COVID-19 related hospitalizations among African American, Latinx and Native American individuals. These disparities are visible on a national level and also all across South Carolina.
With the novel coronavirus continuing to proliferate around the world, more and more people are suffering from a different kind of pandemic: mental health and substance abuse disorders.
As clinics and hospitals ask patients to stay home to limit exposure to the coronavirus, more mental health providers are turning to telehealth to close gaps between providers and their patients.
On March 6, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. While it may not have garnered as much attention as the CARES Act, its impact should not be overlooked.
The coronavirus forced our healthcare system to make sweeping operational changes. In rural health clinics and in the state’s largest hospitals, providers started relying more on telehealth to see patients through live video to limit exposure to COVID-19.
In his downtown Charleston office, Dr. David McSwain is getting ready for a conference call with dozens of pediatric telehealth experts from across the country. As the co-founder and lead investigator on SPROUT (Supporting Pediatric Research on Outcomes and Utilization of Telehealth), Dr. McSwain is bringing the group together to discuss how each hospital system is using telehealth to address the coronavirus pandemic.