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Here's what we learned when we implemented dedicated remote care days.

Fam Pract Manag. 2023;30(5):7-8

Author disclosure: no relevant financial relationships.

COVID-19 greatly accelerated the use of telehealth in the U.S., and even as the pandemic wanes it's become clear that virtual care will remain a major part of our medical system — in part because physicians want it to be. In one survey, 64% of clinicians said delivering care in a virtual-only or hybrid setting best fit their lifestyles.1 All-digital health companies are aggressively growing their workforces, presenting additional competition for brick-and-mortar practices as the country faces projected shortages of 17,800 to 48,000 primary care physicians by 2034.2 But not every physician wants to see patients only through a screen. Traditional primary care offices are uniquely positioned to recruit and retain physicians by creating flexible hybrid schedules that combine the convenience of remote work with the human connection of in-person care.

There are different ways to offer clinicians remote work, such as on-demand cross-coverage, virtual acute care, or remote continuity care for their own primary care panel. At my organization, we considered several factors as we implemented dedicated remote care days, which we intended to be continuity-building, scheduled, primary care visits done virtually. Here's what we learned.

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