COVID-19 pandemic forced many health professionals to turn to telemedicine

Andara Puchino

Telemedicine use in Oklahoma grew significantly as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, according to an online survey conducted by the Oklahoma State Medical Association in 2020.

The results of the survey, with 370 physicians responding, indicate that 84% did not use telemedicine prior to the pandemic, but after the crisis began, 72% of the physicians adopted telemedicine into their practice. 

Despite substantial increases in telehealth use in 2020, state physicians are reporting declines in the number of patients requesting virtual services in just about all areas except behavioral health. 

Before the pandemic, physicians were generally reluctant to embrace virtual care, as most were unfamiliar with it, reimbursement was poor, and many questioned its value.   

These Oklahoman health professionals are sharing how these online visits have affected them and their communities, and how they see this trend going forward in Oklahoma.

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