Telehealth is a powerful tool in ensuring equitable healthcare delivery.

Telehealth leads to equitable healthcare access.

Telehealth, teletherapy, and other forms of virtual care delivery saw a significant increase in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic as patients turned to telehealth to maintain social distancing while still accessing care. Though the concept of telehealth is not new, the in-person restrictions placed on patients and providers during the pandemic, coupled with the federal government’s relaxing of telehealth rules as part of its COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, made virtual care an appealing option. Especially in the early stages of the pandemic, providers shifted to telehealth services to expand access to care, limit disease exposure for staff and patients, and reduce the patient demand on facilities.

Today, telehealth and other forms of virtual visits are increasingly seen as an integral part of healthcare infrastructure, with ongoing implications for both direct-to-patient care and broader community-level preparedness efforts. Telehealth is a powerful tool to help lead us to a more equitable healthcare distribution system, allowing at-risk and vulnerable populations more opportunities to receive healthcare. The rapid adoption of and growing comfort with telehealth that was catalyzed in part by the pandemic now means that telehealth services can be more easily incorporated into disaster planning and post-crisis response strategies.

Additional Links and Resources


Telehealth can and should be a key component of both community preparedness planning and post-crisis response strategies. Additionally, certain telehealth applications can be used in daily operations to help expand existing capacity at points of care.
Read the press release for the 2020 results of Healthcare Ready’s annual national preparedness poll 
While the debate on whether Winter Storm Stella was Ôa bustÕÊor not may fade as quick as the snow accumulation here in Washington, D.C., the preparedness practices it helped reinforce shouldnÕt.



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