Teleneurology during the COVID-19 pandemic: A step forward in modernizing medical care

Bhaskar Roy, Richard J. Nowak, Ricardo Roda, Babar Khokhar, Huned S. Patwa, Thomas Lloyd, Seward B. Rutkove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic mandated rapid transition from face-to-face encounters to teleneurology visits. While teleneurology is regularly used in acute stroke care, its application in other branches of neurology was limited. Here we review how the recent pandemic has created a paradigm shift in caring for patients with chronic neurological disorders and how academic institutions have responded to the present need. Method: Literature review was performed to examine the recent changes in health policies. Number of outpatient visits and televisits in the Department of Neurology was reviewed from Yale University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to examine the road to transition to televisit. Results: The federal government and the insurance providers extended their supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several rules and regulations regarding teleneurology were revised and relaxed to address the current need. New technologies for video conferencing were incorporated. The transition to televisits went smoothly in both the institutions and number of face-to-face encounters decreased dramatically along with a rapid rise in televisits within 2 weeks of the declaration of national emergency. Conclusion and relevance: The need for “social distancing” during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a major surge in the number of teleneurology visits, which will probably continue for the next few months. It may have initiated a more permanent transition to virtual technology incorporated medical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116930
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Volume414
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Practice standards
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine
  • Teleneurology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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