The COVID-19 pandemic has helped shed light on the longer-term structural reforms required in the U.S. healthcare system, which embody telehealth investment and medical supply network monitoring and coordination improvements.
These had been among the results of a report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, which presents answers and proposals related to a coordinated response to future pandemics, protection of frontline healthcare staff and improves EHR interoperability.
Among the different recommendations was a call to make electronic medical records interoperable, more accessible, and searchable by public health personnel to aid in state and federal situational awareness and emergency management.
The research recommended that pilot projects to explore the feasibility of improved EHR interoperability must be thought-about and called for new normal incorporating telehealth technology into the healthcare ecosystem.
Under the assumption that the pandemic would restrict outpatient clinic visits in many parts of the nation, the Center called for an immediate upgrade of telehealth capabilities, noting using telemedicine would likely proceed to increase.
A substantial, long-term investment in telemedicine would have additional advantages, but the report warned healthcare facilities to carefully scrutinize what could or may not be appropriate for a telemedicine visit, and treat such visits with parity in order not to disincentivize the use of telemedicine.