Advances in communications technology are continuing to affect all aspects of society. Healthcare is no exception. From electronic health records to patient portals and virtual tumor boards, integration of telehealth and telemedicine into healthcare is increasing.
Examples of telehealth and telemedicine utilization include, but are not limited to, videoconferences, audio conferences, electronic transmission of digital images, e-health applications, patient portals, remote patient monitoring, a variety of virtual healthcare provider training options, continuing medical education, nursing call centers, and more.
Although there is no standard definition of telehealth, current consensus is that telehealth is the broader, overarching term. Telehealth encompasses all forms of remote healthcare services, both clinical and non-clinical.
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), "the term [telehealth] itself can evoke a limited view of what telehealth does. What was, until recently, referred to as telemedicine now encompasses a much broader array of services and technologies – AI, virtual reality and behavioral economics are a few examples that come to mind. . . . "1
While the potential of telehealth and telemedicine has been recognized for decades, the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) created an imperative that—at least temporarily—removed many long-standing barriers to broader adoption of telehealth solutions.2 Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, often-cited barriers to wider integration of telehealth approaches included significant regulatory and reimbursement barriers, cost concerns, variability in state-level policies and requirements, and anticipated provider and patient resistance to adoption of this new care delivery approach.3
With the loosening of restrictions and policies to allow rapid implementation of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, health systems, hospitals, cancer programs, and practices have demonstrated the viability of telehealth and telemedicine for some aspects of cancer care.
ACCC documented successes in the cancer care community’s rapid adoption of telehealth to maintain patient care during the COVID-19 public health emergency. To obtain multiple perspectives on best practices in team-based telehealth delivery, ACCC conducted multidisciplinary focus groups with three member sites.
ACCC also conducted interviews with oncology professionals across the country—including a financial advocate, an information technology (IT) professional, a nurse, an oncologist, a pharmacist, and social workers—to learn how their roles were impacted by—and adapted to—the growing need for telehealth services since the onset of the pandemic.
EXPERIENCE TELEHEALTH IN ACTION
A 2021 survey shared how cancer programs have incorporated or planned to incorporate telehealth services to care for patients during COVID-19 and beyond. This infographic summarizes findings from 71 ACCC members who responded to the survey.
Adoption & Expansion of Telehealth Solutions
Digital Bridges: Optimizing Telehealth for Older Adults with Cancer
Optimizing Electronic Health Records
Genetic counselors—as members of the cancer care team—can help patients better understand their cancer diagnosis, make informed treatment decisions, and navigate the financial costs of testing.
One serious, unwanted side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the potential for substantial consequences for cancer outcomes due to delayed access to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Hear from Dr. Debra Patt, the author of a study which detected a substantial decrease (among American seniors) in cancer screenings, visits, therapy, and surgeries.
In this episode, we talk with an experienced cancer center information technology (IT) professional about how the role of the IT professional in quality, patient-centered cancer care delivery and what lies ahead.
We'll discuss the telehealth regulatory and policy changes enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, what may change in 2021, and what’s likely to remain the same regarding the reimbursement of remote care.
Learn how genetic healthcare services have adapted to virtual care delivery, and what challenges face its widespread use after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
On this episode of CANCER BUZZ, we discuss how healthcare providers and policymakers can work together to pave the future of telehealth beyond the current public health emergency.
Gain insights into how the City of Hope’s advanced practice-led geriatric consult clinic—which provides a holistic approach to geriatric oncology based on ASCO and NCCN guidelines—developed a telehealth assessment tool geared toward the unique needs of older adults.
Experts provide practical strategies to gather critical information quickly and effectively about your patients’ functional health, whether by phone or video. Learn proven methods to perform these assessments on adults with cancer—even when they are not in your physical office.
Envision a day that cancer clinicians can ask an app to advise on immuno-oncology (IO) treatment options for a patient. That day may not be far off.
In the current oncology clinical trials landscape, many barriers
remain to clinical trial enrollment that affect both the oncologist
and the patient. Among these are trial locations, strict eligibility
requirements, insufficient resources to support appropriate clinical
trial education and screening, as well as patient and provider
attitudes about trials.
ACCC Statement on Telehealth Extension in Omnibus Package
Mar 11, 2022