What Health Care Business Leaders Should Know About the Shift to Telemedicine

Which temporary telemedicine policies and practices have staying power following the COVID-19 pandemic? A Harvard Medical School professor and clinician discusses in a recent podcast.

A hand holding a phone with the illustration of a doctor on the screen.

With various public health policies coming and going over the past few years, health care business leaders have likely reflected on which temporary telemedicine policies and practices have staying power and deserve permanent implementation and regulation.

Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH, a professor of health care policy and medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, discusses pandemic-era telemedicine policies on the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) podcast. Dr. Mehrotra was interviewed by Stephen Morrissey, the journal’s executive managing editor.

Dr. Mehrotra reviews the major COVID-19 era changes to health care delivery, including:

  • The rise of audio-only telemedicine visits 
  • The expansion of telemedicine to providers in many clinical areas 
  • The increase in licensures waivers to allow physicians to practice across state lines

One critical question that both physicians and patients have is how telemedicine affects the quality of care. Dr. Mehrotra tells Morrissey, “It’s not going to be a single paper that’s going to answer this question.” Instead, it will be a growing and changing body of work that doesn’t try to draw one conclusion for all of telehealth.

Hear Dr. Mehrotra’s thoughts on telemedicine in the interview on NEJM.

By staying up to date on trends and developments, health care business leaders can design strategies that create value for health care amid a shifting landscape. With the continued and growing prominence of virtual care, businesses will need to invest in educating their teams on this shift so that they can help shape the future. 

Health care leaders need specific knowledge to design and implement technology-enabled change initiatives successfully. These strategies have the potential to improve the health care industry dramatically and ultimately improve care. The HMS Executive Education open enrollment program, Leading Digital Transformation in Health Care, provides critical perspectives and skills for leaders who aim to innovate and negotiate change.