Telehealth visits at Mass General, Boston Medical Center skyrocket 

With COVID-19 cases continuing to increase across the country, many hospitals and health systems are pushing telehealth efforts to limit the spread of infection that can arise with in-person visits, Boston Herald reports. 

At Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, virtual visits have increased 10- to 20-fold in recent weeks, said Lee Schwamm, MD, director of MGH’s telehealth center, according to the March 25 report. 

“The current crisis makes virtual care solutions like telehealth an indispensable tool as COVID-19 spreads across U.S. communities,” Dr. Schwamm said. “I believe it can help flatten the curve of infections and help us to deploy medical staff and lifesaving equipment wisely.” 

Boston Medical Center, which launched telehealth visits on March 16, has seen a rapid increase in usage. Within 48 hours of deploying the service, the hospital had 1,500 virtual visits scheduled, according to the report. 

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, BMC was hardly doing any telehealth, said Rebecca Grochow Mishuris, MD, associate chief medical information officer at BMC. The virtual capabilities have allowed physicians and nurses to focus more on emergency and urgent cases of people who have required hospitalization due to COVID-19. 

More articles on telehealth: 
Telehealth visits up 312% in New York, causing major lag times
FDA cracks down on telehealth startups' at-home COVID-19 tests
Atrium Health establishes virtual hospital program to treat patients with COVID-19

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