Children’s Hospital Colorado reported increasing its telehealth appointments by a factor of 60: from 100 prior per week during the COVID-19 pandemic to more than 6,000 weekly.
“Due to the quick work of our hospital’s IT and clinical teams, our southern Colorado providers transitioned the majority of the outpatient appointments to telehealth, so they could continue providing care close to home,” said Greg Raymond, chief operating officer of Children’s Colorado’s Southern Region. “Moving our outpatient services, such as neurology and pulmonary clinics, to telehealth was a huge benefit for immunocompromised patients, such as patients with cystic fibrosis, and all patients who shouldn’t risk leaving home in this season.”
The expanded telehealth appointments were born of the need to maintain social distancing while preserving personal protective equipment for handling patients with possible coronavirus infections. The hospital network had been capable of providing telemedicine since 2012. Raymond added that the changes to telehealth procedures adopted during the pandemic are permanent.
“In the long term, we’ll continue innovating these practices to provide important care even closer to home — in the home — as an entirely new way to reach those in rural Colorado and beyond,” he said. “This level of care won’t go away when COVID-19 does.”