Health care providers have been able to use telehealth for a wide range of services, from exams to consultations to diagnosis to patient monitoring. In addition to broadening access to quality health care, telehealth communication — including video and phone conferencing, texting, and other modes of digital communication — can reduce exposure to infection; lower overhead expenses for health care providers; enable providers to easily adopt flexible work schedules; and offer patients an unprecedented level of convenience and speed in dealing with their health issues. However, as the accompanying resource points out, with all of these benefits come some risks, largely revolving around privacy.
The resource provides a high-level overview of the major privacy issues with telehealth, as well as recommendations for securing data and communication. Since telehealth will continue to be a rapidly expanding health care option post-pandemic, it is critical for health care providers to implement secure and scalable systems now, so that patients will continue to have confidence in using the telehealth option.