Gaps in Care


Anchor lead: While telemedicine visits provide many advantages there are some gaps, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Telemedicine has been a lifeline for many, enabling people to see their physicians for many types of visits. Yet a Johns Hopkins study led by Caleb Alexander, a physician and researcher, shows that some fundamental metrics may be missing.

Alexander: What we found is huge changes in the structure of primary care delivery since the pandemic started, with very large shifts to telemedicine, but the content of these telemedicine visits differs a lot from those that are being performed face to face. And we find large reductions in the assessment of blood pressure, cholesterol, assessment of these basic cardiovascular risk factors.  :27

Since heart disease remains the number one cause of death, keeping an eye on those risk factors is very important. Alexander says you can help yourself by getting more involved in your own care, perhaps by keeping your own record of blood pressure, diet and exercise, and asking for cholesterol measurement. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.