Telemedicine may increase surgical care for historically underrepresented patient groups

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way that patients access health care. While previous studies have revealed inequities in telemedicine usage during the spring of 2020, there are fewer analyses of other aspects of its use during the pandemic, especially among surgical patients. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed the electronic health records of new patients seeking consultations within the hospital’s Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery from March through December 2020. Their findings, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, reveal increased use of telemedicine among some historically underrepresented patient groups and may inform future efforts to improve telemedicine access.

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