Inside Health Care #115: Telehealth, Adult Immunization and the Pandemic in Retrospect
September 27, 2023 · David J. Smolar
In this episode of “Inside Health Care,” we take a look back at what we’ve learned since the pandemic hit over three years ago. We first chat with an upcoming star speaker at NCQA’s 2023 Health Innovation Summit on what we’ve garnered from the growth of telehealth in remote medicine. Then in our second interview in this episode, we discuss the public’s conflict with immunization and new strategies on encouraging vaccination.
Dr. Leslie Eiland is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She is Medical Director of Patient Experience and Digital Health at Nebraska Medicine, and has been Medical Director of the endocrine telehealth program there since 2014. The program provides care via telehealth to eight rural community hospitals in Nebraska and Iowa. Dr. Eiland’s clinical areas of interest and expertise are remote delivery of endocrine care and providing endocrine support for primary care providers in rural communities.
For our second interview, we wonder: what have we learned from the pandemic? With backs up against the wall and clinical care pushed to capacity, 2023 was a time of reflection…and re-invigoration. In this interview, hosted by Dr. Sepheen Byron, Assistant Vice President, Performance Measurement at NCQA, you’ll hear about one such effort to see what we’ve learned about, and gain new insights into approaches to care, from review of pandemic care. In this case, we focus on adult immunization and improving adult immunization rates.
A panel of experts, including partners from NCQA, convened in June of 2023 for a roundtable discussion on adult immunization. They not only discussed clinical guidelines and approaches to better health. They considered simple human behavior: how to rebuild trust with patients and ultimately find new ways to encourage them to vaccinate. In September 2023, NCQA released a white paper summarizing the roundtable’s discussions and their conclusions.
Megan Lindley, MPH, is the adult vaccination Team Lead of the Applied Research, Implementation Science, and Evaluation Branch in the Immunization Services Division of the CDC. Her areas of research interest include immunization law and policy, adult immunization quality measurement, vaccination in pregnancy and healthcare personnel vaccination. She was an active member from 2012-2019 and a co-chair from 2018-2019 of the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit’s Quality Measures Workgroup, which developed two immunization quality measures that were added to HEDIS in 2019: a measure of routine adult vaccination and a composite measure of vaccination of pregnant women. Ms. Lindley has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.
In our Fast Facts segment, we observe September’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month with important information from the CDC on symptoms and screening. We also discuss one of a number of NCQA’s cancer-related HEDIS screening measures. Colorectal Cancer Screening, which we call C-O-L or C-O-L-E, assesses adults 50–75 who had appropriate screening for colorectal cancer with any of a number of tests, including a colonoscopy every 10 years, computed tomography colonography every 5 years and a stool DNA test every 3 years.