A new issue brief, “Virtual Care: Guidance for Healthcare Settings,” is now available. A result of a long-standing collaboration with the Facility Guidelines Institute and The Center for Health Design, the brief explores the origins and expanding use of telemedicine for virtual care, the role of the built environment in facilitating care via telemedicine and how evidence was used to support and develop language for guidance.
Before the global pandemic, there was increased conversation in the U.S. about the growth in virtual care, due in part to advances and ubiquity in technology, but also because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimbursement regulations were finally catching up to available technology. According to a survey conducted by HIMSS Analytics (2017), telemedicine use rose from 54% in 2014 to 71% in 2017.
Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hearing even more about the explosion in telemedicine. Regulatory waivers and the potential benefits to both patients and clinicians have fostered unprecedented growth and, importantly, acceptance (and even preference) of virtual care over face-to-face office visits. According to one report, telemedicine usage increased as much as 4,330% in the few weeks after the pandemic was recognized (Mann et al., 2020).
This issue brief addresses several subjects, including: space needs, privacy, acoustics, lighting, gaze angle and camera distance, interior surfaces, site identification and equipment-associated issues.
To read more and to access the issue brief, click here.