The Doctor’s Advocate | Second Quarter 2022
Foundation News

Spotlight on Foundation Grants: MedStar Health Research Institute

In 2021, The Doctors Company Foundation sponsored MedStar Health Research Institute’s Identifying and Mitigating Patient Safety Risks Associated With Referrals from Telehealth to In-Person Care, a project to better understand and mitigate patient safety risks associated with the telehealth referral process.

A preliminary analysis revealed that, out of 911 telehealth encounters with a referral to in-person care, 689 patients (75.6 percent) had an in-person care encounter at MedStar Health following the telehealth encounter. Additionally, of 391 telehealth encounters with referral to higher-acuity care (such as emergency department and urgent care), 302 (77.2 percent) followed up. This suggests that some patients are not accessing the referred in-person care following an on-demand telehealth encounter.

Future phases include completing additional analysis, interviewing providers and patients to identify factors that affect successful telehealth referrals and follow-through, and developing a tool to assess telehealth referral safety.

Learn more about the Foundation’s work to support research projects that improve patient care.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

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