The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has accelerated the telehealth tipping point in the practice of family medicine and primary care in the United States, making telehealth not just a novel approach to care but also a necessary one for public health safety. Social distancing requirements and stay-at-home orders have shifted patient care from face-to-face consultations in primary care offices to virtual care from clinicians' homes or offices, moving to a new frontline, which we call the "frontweb." Our telehealth workgroup employed the Clinical Transformation in Technology implementation framework to accelerate telehealth expansion and to develop a consensus document for clinician recommendations in providing remote virtual care during the pandemic. In a few weeks, telehealth went from under 5% of patient visits to almost 93%, while maintaining high levels of patient satisfaction. In this paper, we share clinician recommendations and guidance gleaned from this transition to the frontweb and offer a systematic approach for ensuring "webside" success.
Keywords: COVID-19; infectious disease; outbreak; pandemic; primary care; public health; telehealth; telemedicine.
©J Nwando Olayiwola, Candy Magaña, Ashley Harmon, Shalina Nair, Erica Esposito, Christine Harsh, L Arick Forrest, Randy Wexler. Originally published in JMIR Public Health and Surveillance (http://publichealth.jmir.org), 25.06.2020.