medwireNews: The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued a position statement supporting the use of telemedicine during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities to rheumatology professionals who have rapidly adopted telemedicine in routine practice,” said Chris Phillips, from the ACR’s Committee on Rheumatologic Care, in a press release.
“As providers plan for rheumatology care post-COVID, taking into consideration rheumatology workforce shortages and geographically distant patients, it is apparent that telemedicine could help rheumatology providers improve care models for their patients if the long-term economic and regulatory landscape remains favorable,” he added.
The position statement includes eight points, including support for protocols to ensure security of patient information and proposals to facilitate interstate telemedicine in the USA. The ACR stresses that telerheumatology should not “replace essential face-to-face assessments conducted at medically appropriate intervals,” and opposes geographic restrictions on telemedicine use.
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