Viewpoint: Telemedicine eases burden on hospitals but wears out clinicians

The pandemic caused explosive growth in telehealth, but one Colorado physician is saying the tool has added to some medical industry burnout, reported KRDO Jan. 11.

Patients are getting more access to telemedicine, but there are not enough healthcare workers to conduct these virtual visits.

"I can tell you that there is overwhelming demand in our Virtual Urgent Care right now," Chris Davis, MD, medical and virtual health director at Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth, said in the article. "I mean, that's absolutely the case. We simply don't have enough people. We just can't meet the demand, and we're booking out appointments too far for my comfort level. But that's just sort of the reality that we're in right now."

Although Dr. Davis said telehealth has added more work for some physicians, he also praised the new digital tool, stating that telemedicine keeps patients with milder illness out of hospitals, relieving some of hospitals' stress during the pandemic. 

"Being able to use the Virtual Urgent Care to help triage and basically do air traffic control to get the patient to the right place at the right time, that's a service, and we're happy to do that," Dr. Davis told KRDO.

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