According to the Commonwealth Fund, the health care industry is responsible for 8.5% of national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, which represents a 6% increase in emissions from 2010 to 2018. Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute published a study in JAMA Oncology, which investigated how telehealth could potentially reduce GHG emissions, as opposed to in-patient visits. The study concluded that when patients used telehealth for their appointments, GHG emissions were reduced by 81.3%. While much in-person and tertiary oncology care is essential, these data show that decentralizing care when possible can meaningfully reduce visit-related emissions.

AHPA extends our gratitude to McKenzie Kauffman, guest author of this article.

McKenzie is a graduate student in the Master of Communication & Business Leadership program at High Point University