Engaging LIC Students in Virtual Clinical Care: Telephone and Video Visits During COVID-19 and Beyond
With crisis comes opportunity. To improve patient and provider safety and access to care, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rapidly develop new workflows to safely and effectively meet the needs of our community and our learners. To comply with mandated shelter in place orders, many physicians have converted a large proportion of their practice to video-only or phone-only virtual visits. CMS has expanded the telehealth waiver, allowing Medicare to pay for office, hospital and other visits furnished via telehealth as of March 6th. Current AAMC guidelines as well as a future trend towards virtual care spurred us to create ways for students to continue to be participate in clinical care, for now via video-only or phone-only virtual visits. In response, two urban longitudinal integrated clerkships, UCSF-KLIC East Bay and UCSF-KLIC SF, partnerships between Kaiser Permanente and University of California, San Francisco, created 3 podcasts, intended for a broad audience of LIC clerkship students, faculty, and program directors who participate in clinical learning encounters. We aimed to cover the following: Part 1 focuses on background, policy, and structure around the virtual care education experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 2 covers how to prepare the student and patient for the visit, how to set expectations, and curveballs unique to the virtual care education experience. Part 3 covers bringing the preceptor into the encounter, wrapping up the visit, and related medical student learning opportunities, as well as a medical student's perspective on her experience recently navigating virtual visit care and learning. Although these podcasts were developed with longitudinal clerkships in mind, the podcasts have wider relevance, with the objective to provide information and encouragement around the virtual clinical care learning and teaching experience.