Telehealth By The Numbers

Provider in tele ICU monitoring computers

Telehealth services in SC experienced unprecedented growth throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth was leveraged across hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other care settings to care for patients while also encouraging social distancing. Federally Qualified Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, and healthcare providers of all sizes began providing telehealth services more than ever before, as state and federal telehealth reimbursement policies were temporarily expanded during the COVID-19 crisis. Telehealth has been so readily adopted by patients and providers that it is difficult to envision telehealth not playing a key role in all future care delivery models.


Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health

Nationally, mental health and substance use disorders among pregnant and post-partum women have increased during COVID-19. These disorders can have profound consequences for women, their children, and their families. Fortunately, home-based telehealth visits have improved access to treatment for these disorders.

In 2020, MUSC’s Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health Clinic completed over 600 asynchronous Virtual Care visits with pregnant and post-partum women in South Carolina.

Virtual Care for Medically Complex Children

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Prisma Health pivoted its virtual care program for Medically Complex Children from connecting with patients in a clinic to connecting directly into patients’ homes using both video and peripheral technology. This technology allows the physician at the clinic to look at ears, throats, skin, as well as temperature and heart/lungs sounds. Providing virtual care to children in their homes received positive responses from both families and caregivers. Children with complex medical conditions may use ventilators or other specialty equipment which requires ambulance transport. Home-based virtual care visits with pediatricians who specialize in the care of complex children saved families time, money, and worry while not compromising quality of care. 

SC Department of Mental Health Telepsychiatry Programs

Through its telepsychiatry programs, SCDMH was well poised to support SC citizens in coping with the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By December 2020, SCDMH provided approximately 25,700 telehealth services per month, a 480% increase in the average services per month pre-COVID.


MUSC Health’s critical care team continued to partner with community hospitals to provide an extra level of expert care to intensive care patients. There are 9 connected hospitals receiving round-the-clock remote ICU monitoring.

In 2020, MUSC Health’s Tele-ICU program monitored over 11,000 patients and resulted in over 1,300 emergency responses.

Project ECHO/Telementoring

Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (Project ECHO) and other Telementoring models empower rural healthcare providers to provide specialty-informed care for patients with specific health care needs through regular case review and didactic sessions. Project ECHO/Telementoring programs in South Carolina include:

  • Project ECHO SC Pregnancy Wellness
  • Southeast Viral Hepatitis Interactive Case Conference
  • Project ECHO Opioid Use Disorders
  • SC Rural Cancer Survivorship Project ECHO

During 2020, South Carolina Project ECHO/Telementoring programs held 76 sessions with a total of almost 3,000 participants.