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Journal of General Internal Medicine ; 37:S133, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1995829


BACKGROUND: In-person clinic visits can be challenging for underserved populations due to social determinants of health such as transportation, time off work, and childcare responsibilities. These challenges were further compounded during the COVID-19 pandemic, which propelled primary care physicians to rapidly incorporate telehealth into their practice. The aim for this project was to assess our internal medicine residents' views on, preparation for, and comfort with telehealth. METHODS: With technical support from our local Area Health Education Center (AHEC) chapter, we created a telehealth training module specific to our residency continuity clinics. Upper-level Internal Medicine residents were surveyed regarding their experience and comfort level with the use of telehealth in their continuity clinics. First-year residents were excluded, as they were assigned to in-person clinic visits during the peak of the pandemic. Survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Themes, areas of improvement, and next steps were identified. RESULTS: Approximately 57 percent of Wake Forest Internal Medicine residents (n=38) completed the newly developed telehealth online training module and associated survey assessing resident experience and comfort level with telehealth. Many respondents (71.9%) stated that they had not received prior training in telehealth. However, 65.7% of residents surveyed stated they felt comfortable managing patients through telehealth. Many of those surveyed believed telehealth benefits the health of patients (84.4%,) is an important learning opportunity during residency (93.8%,) and expect to use telehealth in their future career (97.1%.) A majority of residents felt telehealth could be a suitable alternative for routine follow-up and chronic disease management, but mentioned the lack of patient connectivity to video and need for access to objective data like vital signs and physical exam. CONCLUSIONS: Internal Medicine residents were eager to incorporate telehealth into their current training and future careers, despite most not having received prior telehealth training. Residents recognized the limitations of telehealth and frequently suggested home measurements of vital signs to improve management decisions. Thus, “Know Your Numbers” pilot project was created, which targets patients with poorly controlled diabetes and hypertension, was designed to provide residents with greater exposure to telehealth, as well as equip patients with the remote monitoring tools necessary to better inform treatment recommendations. Patients are scheduled for interval telehealth visits between their regularly scheduled in-person visits with their resident primary care physician. Residents will be surveyed again in July 2022 to assess changes in comfort level and experience with telehealth.

Journal of General Internal Medicine ; 36(SUPPL 1):S54-S55, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1349052