Telemedicine and Health Equity During COVID-19 in Pediatric Gastroenterology

J Pediatr Health Care. 2021 Jun 22:S0891-5245(21)00021-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.01.007. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Telehealth (TH) services rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid deployment precluded the opportunity for initial planning of implementation strategies. The purpose of the quality improvement project was to understand the needs of nurse practitioners and examine TH procedures and interventions designed to promote high-quality, equitable health care for pediatric patients with gastrointestinal concerns.

METHOD: The Plan-Do-Study-Act model was used. Survey data from providers and families were collected and analyzed. They were further illuminated through iterative dialog across the research team to determine the quality and efficiency of TH.

RESULTS: A toolkit of strategies for promoting the quality and efficiency of TH was created according to the three domains of health equity: availability, accessibility, and acceptability.

DISCUSSION: TH will be used in the postpandemic era. Institutions need to implement evidence-based strategies that ensure health equity across TH platforms to ensure excellent patient care.

PMID:34172354 | DOI:10.1016/j.pedhc.2021.01.007