One of the most tangible changes the Covid-19 pandemic has brought is the steep increase in telehealth medical services or telemedicine. Many individuals living with chronic pain struggle to maintain in-person appointments due to physical inaccessibility.
Many have found themselves going without necessary care under their chronically painful lived experience, whether due to the chronic pain itself or barriers such as reliable transportation.
Other individuals with long-term health concerns face similar struggles, such as those living with disability, mental illness, and more. In all cases, barriers to care frequently involve the difficulties associated with in-person appointments.
Of course, there are clear benefits to in-person appointments; however, as the pandemic has demonstrated, telemedicine is helping to break down accessibility barriers for many across the country.
Telemedicine allows patients to connect with their physicians from the comfort of their own homes. They can see their doctors, go over their symptoms, discuss medication(s), and form treatment plans, all without the struggle and strain associated with in-person treatment.
They are seeking to capitalize on the growing trend of telehealth.
Telemedicine necessitates using a computer or laptop with a webcam. While computers have become a modern necessity, they still come with a price tag not all can afford. Telemedicine nonetheless demonstrates excellent promise in closing accessibility gaps for many across the United States with such barriers in mind.
Growing leaders within this sphere of care, particularly those treating patients with chronic pain, seek to implement and utilize the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) 11 pain diagnosis protocol more widely. This diagnostic protocol helps to classify pain diseases and conditions associated with chronic pain more accurately, which better informs treatment plans moving forward.
Providers hope the rise in telemedicine appointments and the greater use of the ICD 11 pain diagnosis protocol will increase both the affordability and accessibility of chronic pain healthcare services moving forward, both within the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.