The Emerging Role of Telehealth for Concussion Clinical Care During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.

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Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, WK Health
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 313 words

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Byline: Melissa N. Womble, Inova Sports Medicine Concussion Program, Fairfax, Virginia (Dr Womble); Baylor Scott & White Sports Concussion Program, Frisco, Texas (Dr Reynolds); Sports Medicine Concussion Program, Department of Orthopaedics, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Drs Kissinger-Knox, Collins, Kontos, and Eagle); Inova Sports Medicine, Fairfax, Virginia (Dr West); and Office for Sport Concussion Research, Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (Dr Elbin).; Erin Reynolds; Alicia Kissinger-Knox; Michael W. Collins; Anthony P. Kontos; Robin V. West; Shawn Eagle; R. J. Elbin Abstract The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has substantially altered the delivery of healthcare for providers and their patients. Patients have been reticent to seek care for many diseases and injuries including concussion due to fears of potential exposure to COVID-19. Moreover, because of social distancing recommendations and stay-at-home orders, patient screening, evaluation, and delivery of care have become less efficient or impossible to perform via in-person clinic visits. Consequently, there was a sudden need to shift healthcare delivery from primarily in-person visits to telehealth. This sudden shift in healthcare delivery brings with it both challenges and opportunities for clinical concussion care. This article is designed to discuss these challenges and opportunities and provide an experiential-based framework for providing concussion care via telehealth. We first provide an overview of a clinical concussion model utilized at concussion specialty clinics from 3 geographically disparate healthcare systems for in-person service delivery prior to COVID-19. We then discuss the creation of new clinical workflows to facilitate the continued provision of concussion specialty care using telehealth. Finally, we examine lessons learned during this healthcare delivery shift including limitations and potential barriers for telehealth for concussion care, as well as opportunities for expansion of concussion care in rural and underserved areas. We also discuss the need to empirically evaluate the comparative efficacy of telehealth and in-person concussion care moving forward.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A696079361