Landscape for Telehealth Under COVID-19
The purpose of the Landscape for Telehealth under COVID-19 project was to help the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) identify new opportunities for comparative effectiveness research within telehealth, especially after the major shift towards telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of this work, NORC at the University of Chicago worked closely with PCORI to complete a rapid landscape review of peer-reviewed and grey literature on changes to telehealth-related policy, care delivery, and outcomes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. NORC also assembled a small group of telehealth experts to serve on a technical expert panel (TEP). The TEP convened several times to provide insight into where PCORI might target its future research and telehealth investments.
Landscape Review of Pandemic Changes
The landscape review was guided by three major framework components: policy context, health system delivery, and outcomes. Due to the abbreviated timeline, we conducted a pragmatic review focused on literature published between January 30, 2020, and October 16, 2020, incorporating key resources provided by PCORI and expert informants. To remain within the narrow scope of pandemic-related changes, we limited our review to work that met specific definitions of telehealth and telemedicine, focused on the expansion or use of telehealth during the pandemic, and covered at least one of the three major framework components. The final landscape review report provided a synthesis of telehealth trends during the COVID-19 pandemic, potential health disparity implications of telehealth, areas needing further research, and potential areas of future focus for PCORI.
Expert Input on Future Research
NORC convened a seven-member TEP that represented academic, industry, and patient-centered advocacy backgrounds. NORC conducted a series of one-on-one interviews with each TEP member and convened the entire group to discuss areas where additional evidence for telehealth use may be warranted. NORC produced a comprehensive meeting summary document and a transcript. The summary document described the implications for research priorities in telehealth, suggestions for next steps that PCORI may take to engage in this field, and recommendations for subsequent rapid evidence review in priority research areas.
Report | December 1, 2022