The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the face of health care delivery. Health care institutions rapidly transitioned to telehealth to provide care to patients. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth services extended mostly to patients with established diagnoses. Driven by a necessity to provide care to all patients during the pandemic, neurologists started evaluating new patients also via telehealth. To explore opportunities, challenges, and feasibility of telehealth for new patients with neuromuscular disorders. METHODS: New patient visits performed in our neuromuscular clinic were analyzed from March 18, 2020 - July 31, 2020. Data collected included visit volume, demographics, geographic distance of patient's residence from our institution, and no-show and cancellation rates. RESULTS: Total number of patients seen was 1,471; 472 (32%) were new patients. No-show and cancellation rates for telehealth visits were lower than historical in-person visits. There was a wide range of ages (35-74 years) with representation of new patients from a large geographical territory. CONCLUSION: This study advances our understanding regarding the adoption and implementation of telehealth for new patients. Our clinic was able to provide timely access and care to a significant number of patients who could not travel to our institution during COVID-19.
- Virtual care
- quality care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health