Telehealth Gave Orgs Economic Boost, Cut Carbon Footprint
Author: Mark Melchionna
A recent study from UC Davis Health found that the uptake of telehealth during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic improved patient outcomes and led to noticeable financial and environmental benefits , largely due to the cut in carbon footprint associated with virtual visits. Researchers also emphasized how telehealth is key to lessening the climate crisis that is currently a prominent issue. In general, vehicle trips correlate with increased greenhouse gas emissions. However, during the first two years of the pandemic, researchers found that carbon dioxide emission savings were close to 21,466 metric tons. This was mainly because fewer vehicle trips took place during this time. “The world is currently in a climate crisis. Being one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, the health care industry should be taking serious steps to decrease its carbon footprint and telehealth is one of them,” said Sharma. Similarly, a study from July 2021 also found that telehealth was linked to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers made this conclusion following a five-year analysis of outpatient visits at a Pacific Northwest health system, which provided them with data that surrounded the relationship between transportation mode and environmental outcomes.