Accelerated launch of video visits in ambulatory neurology during COVID-19: Key lessons from the Stanford experience.Neurology. 2020 Jul 01 [Online ahead of print]Neur
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly moved telemedicine from discretionary to necessary. Here we describe how the Stanford Neurology Department: 1) rapidly adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in over 1000 video visits within four weeks and 2) accelerated an existing quality improvement plan of a tiered roll out of video visits for ambulatory neurology to a full-scale roll out. Key issues we encountered and addressed were related to: equipment/software, provider engagement, workflow/triage, and training. Upon reflection, the key drivers of our success were provider engagement and a supportive physician champion. The physician champion played a critical role understanding stakeholder needs, including staff and physicians' needs, and creating workflows to coordinate both stakeholder groups. Prior to COVID-19, physician interest in telemedicine was mixed. However, in response to county and state stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19, physician engagement changed completely; all providers wanted to convert a majority of visits to video visits as quickly as possible. Rapid deployment of neurology video visits across all its subspecialties is feasible. Our experience and lessons learned can facilitate broader utilization, acceptance, and normalization of video visits for neurology patients in the present as well as the much anticipated post-pandemic era.