By Rhett Stover and Waseem Ghannam

Eighteen months ago when our partnership began, we could not have foreseen either the changes in the world due to COVID-19, or the effect it would have on telemedicine nationally. The partnership between OSU Medicine and TeleHealth Solution is a primary care strategy aimed to provide a single point of contact for patients navigating the health system. Our work prior to the pandemic laid the ground work for an expansion of the partnership to respond quickly and at scale to serve the needs of the rural community.

OSU Medicine sought to enhance its investment in virtual medicine to address health disparities and expand access to care for several hospitals in rural Oklahoma, in order to prepare for the expected surge in coronavirus cases. Services provided through the partnership between OSU Medicine and TeleHealth Solution include a robust telehealth platform as well as virtual hospitalist services including rounding, admission, and care coordination for rural healthcare markets across the state. As the coronavirus pandemic accelerated, these services were increasingly relied upon for emergency preparedness planning in many rural areas of the state.

Telehealth and COVID
The challenge created by the COVID-19 pandemic opened the door for telehealth at OSU Medicine and other provider organizations nationwide. The pandemic made it imperative to find ways to care for patients, both those with COVID-19 and those with other diseases, efficiently and safely, while adhering to strict quality of care guidelines; uniquely bringing together innovative technology, increased accessibility, and enhanced clinical expertise.


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