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In this PSNet Annual Perspective, we worked with co-authors Dr. Jacqueline C. Stocking, a quality improvement and critical care specialist, and Dr. Christian Sandrock, a patient safety professional and emerging infectious diseases specialist, to provide a look at news and research related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient safety.

In this PSNet Annual Perspective, we review key findings related to improvement strategies when communicating with patients and different structured communication techniques to improve communication across providers. Lessons learned from innovative approaches explored under COVID-19 that could be considered as usual care resumes are also discussed.

This Perspective differs from the typical Perspective in that it compiles findings and insights into a series of case studies from interviews and written responses from leaders at three different health systems who had to increase their telehealth capacities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This PSNet Perspective discusses how telehealth, regardless of payer (Medicare, private insurance, etc.), is supporting both patient and provider safety during the COVID-19 crisis. Precautions that institutions can take to alleviate safety risks resulting from a rapid expansion of capabilities and use are also discussed.
Joel Willis, DO, PA, MA, MPhiL is a Health Policy Fellow affiliated with the American Board of Family Medicine and the George Washington Medical Faculty Associates. Neal Sikka, MD is an Associate Professor and Attending Physician at George Washington Medical Faculty Associates and the Chief of the Innovative Practice and Telehealth Section of the Department of Emergency Medicine. We discussed with them how telehealth at GW is helping to protect patients and providers during the COVID-19 crisis.