A Multipronged Digital Response to Increased Demand for Telehealth Support and Training During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the University of Kansas Center for Telemedicine & Telehealth (KUCTT) adopted a multipronged, digital strategy to address COVID-induced, high-volume telehealth inquiries in Kansas and sought to quickly disseminate rapidly evolving federal policy updates and foundational telehealth implementation guidance. Retrospectively, KUCTT examined participant engagement in three educational approaches (e.g., telehealth webinars, Project ECHO, brief instructional/informational videos) that were developed and delivered in real time to meet the specific and unique needs of healthcare administrators and providers due to the COVID-19-forced surge in telehealth utilization. KUCTT observed significant increases in telehealth educational engagement and website access in response to the COVID-19 telehealth surge and the multi-pronged digital educational strategy. From January to September of 2020, average attendance at non-COVID-19 ECHOs was 56.1 attendees while the average attendance for two COVID-19 ECHOs that occurred in March of 2020 was 225 attendees, a 300% increase in attendance. The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) Telehealth website received triple the amount of page views in March and April of 2020 (n=1,559) compared to January and February of 2020 (n=526). Healthcare providers used and engaged with the educational programs in this fast-tracked, digital approach at greater rates when compared to pre-pandemic program and web data. This interest mirrors the COVID-19 telehealth surge and suggests that a multipronged approach was effective in disseminating rapidly evolving telehealth policy and defining essential elements of telehealth implementation.
Wright, S., Spaulding, R. & Henley, W. A Multipronged Digital Response to Increased Demand for Telehealth Support and Training During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J. technol. behav. sci. 7, 73–80 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41347-021-00224-4