Enhancing the Response to COVID-19 and Future Pandemics
Dartmouth Institute researchers are studying the adoption of new healthcare delivery methods to examine the different ways that the pandemic has impacted healthcare providers and their patients.
Healthcare ChallengeThe COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the U.S. healthcare system and its ability to care for patients. A decline in primary and specialty care office visits has led to fewer diagnostic tests and prescriptions, and a lack of timely diagnoses and treatments for acute and chronic conditions. At the same time, the healthcare system faces financial strain and layoffs. With more adults now reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression, are people able to get the care they need?
Medical practices, hospitals, and health systems have worked hard to mitigate disruptions in care in response to COVID-19. However, their ability to respond varies greatly depending on their organization’s characteristics and capabilities. The impact of such differences on the quality of patient care, especially for patients with complex clinical and social needs, is unknown. Understanding the factors that influence effective care delivery in the face of the crisis can inform policies and practices that will lead to a more resilient and effective healthcare system in the future.
There is an unparalleled opportunity to leverage ongoing research by studying how healthcare organizations with different characteristics and capabilities are responding to COVID-19. This is especially true for patients with complex clinical and social needs, people in rural areas, and those racial and ethnic groups most affected by the pandemic.
How we’re meeting it
Dartmouth Institute researchers have been awarded $2.4 million in federal funding to support ongoing studies aimed at enhancing American healthcare providers’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research funding comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The funds will allow the researchers to study the adoption of new healthcare delivery methods, such as telehealth services, and to examine the different ways that the pandemic has impacted healthcare providers and their patients.
The data obtained from this research will be used to establish guidance that will help healthcare providers and lawmakers strengthen the delivery of primary and patient care, not only during this current pandemic but for those that may emerge in the future. The team is planning several papers on their analysis, covering topics such as:
- Organizational challenges and successes adopting telemedicine
- Impact of telehealth on care of hypertension and diabetes
- Adopting telehealth in rural areas for oncology care
- Proactive advance care planning
- Which types of organizations were able to pivot quickly to telemedicine