The Evolution of Telehealth From Pre-COVID-19 Pandemic Through A Hybrid Virtual Care Delivery Model: A Pediatric Hospital’s Journey
Keywords:COVID-19, Early intervention, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation services, Telehealth
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed care delivery and influenced telehealth adoption by rehabilitation professionals and their patients. The purpose of this paper is to describe a pediatric health system’s telehealth services pre-pandemic and how those services were scaled during the pandemic. A secondary aim is to provide a roadmap for the operational delivery of telehealth and rehabilitation services, including transition to a hybrid care delivery model. Findings suggested that telehealth can be rapidly scaled to address patient healthcare needs for an early intervention population during a pandemic. Telehealth use during the pandemic helped ensure continuity of care and likely reduced the risk of exposure to patients and staff to the virus. Benefits included enhanced access to care, and savings in time and money for families. Interestingly, as the pandemic declined, the use of telehealth services declined due to patient preference, with many families opting to request a return to in-person care.
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