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The Abrupt Expansion of Ambulatory Telemedicine: Implications for Patient Safety.


The exponential growth of telemedicine in ambulatory care triggered by the COVID-19 public health emergency has undoubtedly impacted the quality of care and patient safety. In particular, the increased adoption of remote care has impacted communication, care teams, and patient engagement, which are key factors that impact patient safety in ambulatory care. In this perspective, we draw on a scoping review of the literature, our own clinical experiences, and conversations with patient safety experts to describe how changes in communication, care teams, and patient engagement have impacted two high priority areas in ambulatory safety: diagnostic errors and medication safety. We then provide recommendations for research funders, researchers, healthcare systems, policy makers, and healthcare payors for how to improve patient safety in telemedicine based on what is currently known as well as next steps for how to advance understanding of the safety implications of telemedicine utilization.

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