GNYHA Webinar Highlights Telemedicine in Residency Programs

March 1, 2021

GNYHA recently hosted Telehealth in Academic Medicine, Part 2 as part of an ongoing learning series about various telehealth topics. Presenters discussed telehealth training programs and ways to train residents on specific communication skills used in telemedicine.

Speakers for Part 2 included Peter Wagoner Greenwald, MD, Director of Telemedicine, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine; Neel Naik, MD, Director of Emergency Medicine Simulation Education, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine; and Sondra Zabar, MD, Director, Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation, NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Dr. Greenwald noted that Weill Cornell’s emergency department was an early adopter of telemedicine in 2015, when the transition to value-based care seemed to be on the horizon.

“Telemedicine is not the equivalent of an in-person visit over Zoom,” he said. In 2017, “we started to involve learners,” meaning the hospital began teaching telemedicine to its residents and medical students. While the transition to value-based care didn’t happen as quickly as initially believed, it “set us up well for what happened in past year,” referring to the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Naik said that, to train residents for telemedicine, Weill Cornell developed a three-phase telehealth model that featured online self-paced modules, standardized patient simulations, and group debriefs where recordings of simulations were reviewed.

Dr. Zabar discussed NYU Grossman School of Medicine’s behavioral anchored assessment tool and said that “simulation is an ideal way to teach and assess the skills” required to conduct telehealth encounters. For telehealth training, NYU also developed a checklist “to capture key behaviors for successful virtual encounters.” The list touches on some of the basics, including the need to confirm patient identity and to use nonverbal communication such as eye contact.

The program built on the February 17 webinar, Telehealth in Academic Medicine, Part 1, which provided an overview of the learning environment where telehealth is used. Materials from both programs are available on the GNYHA website.