3. Rapid adoption of telehealth technologiesWhile the sudden change in healthcare practices from in-person to telehealth has been necessary to meet the immediate need — and represents a trend that is likely to continue — deploying telehealth solutions so quickly can create its own problems and challenges. As facilities seek to transition from pandemic response to new telehealth care delivery models, they may struggle to provide sufficient user training, coordinate patient care, or overcome technology resource inequalities among patients, according to ECRI.
Some of the technologies adopted may not be suitable for long-term use (e.g., if temporary regulatory exemptions expire) or may not integrate well with existing clinical workflows and systems.
Failure to address these challenges could lead to suboptimal treatment, increase the risk of medical errors, or hinder certain populations from accessing care. Rushed implementation could lack adequate cybersecurity controls, putting the patient’s and the facility’s data at risk, the organization warned.
The solution may involve switching, modifying, reconfiguring or ceasing the use of some of these technologies. ECRI recommends conducting technology assessment and workflow planning steps that might have been skipped, verifying a clear patient-selection methodology (not all patients are good candidates for telehealth) and conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment.