COVID-19 has greatly changed how we care for ourselves and has resulted in a massive change to how we connect with our doctors. Providers are seeing 50-175 times the number of patients via telehealth visits than they did before the pandemic, and Forrester predicts that virtual care visits will soar to more than 1 billion by the end of 2020, including 900 million visits related to the coronavirus.
Telehealth has great potential to increase healthcare access for everyone during the pandemic, and this is especially important for older adults and other populations at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. But, virtual visits can also be stressful for those with an aversion to using technology to speak with their doctor.
As patients who might’ve shied away from technology in the past now need to use it to connect with their doctors, it’s important for healthcare providers to ensure their telemedicine platforms
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. is staring down the barrel of a primary care physician (PCP) shortage to the tune of 21,000 to 55,000 primary care providers (PCPs) by 2023. This is worrisome on its own, but when paired with the current and future impact of Covid-19, it paints a potentially bleak picture of what primary care delivery might look like over the next few years.
On the flip side, for community pharmacies, it’s been a call to action to revisit the role that pharmacists can play in improving care management and consumer health engagement, especially for those with chronic conditions, in a Covid-19 world.
“An anticipated shortage of physicians, increasingly complex therapies, and people living longer with chronic conditions, could create more opportunities for pharmacists to engage in care delivery,” wrote George Van Antwerp and Greg Myers of Deloitte Consulting LLP in a