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Telehealth has been celebrated for broadening access to healthcare for individuals who otherwise would go without, but also derided as an “environment” rich in risk for overprescribing, as well as a threat to the patient–provider relationship. What’s not in dispute is that many patients like it—and the situations in which they access telehealth may be surprising. According to research by KeyCare and as reported by Healthcare IT Today, 68% of patients “who needed urgent care when traveling used telehealth to connect with their regular care team.” In other words, virtual visits were an adjunct rather than a replacement for in-person care for those respondents. While it should be noted that KeyCare provides virtual care services, and thus has a vested interest in promoting the positive aspects of telehealth, the fact that providing care via virtual platforms persists and is accessed by many suggests that finding ways to optimize its use responsibly could be healthy not just for patients but also operators. JUCM published an article that could provide some context; read Using Telemedicine to Improve Throughput and Build Market Share in our archive right now.

Patients May Be Accessing Telehealth in Ways That Surprise You