Survey Finds Telehealth Is Being Sustained And Optimized By The Majority Of Physicians And Hospital Executives

In a recent survey conducted by Sage Growth Partners, both practice-based physicians and hospital executives were polled to gain insight into current telehealth trends. Results showed that, due to the pandemic, healthcare delivery has drastically changed in the last few years. This included a rapid uptake of telehealth and virtual care tools, as well as the experiences of those using them.

In September, the healthcare advisory firm launched the survey to explore the shifting telehealth landscape.The survey was completed by 170 practice-based physicians and hospital-based C-suite executives and centered on telehealth goals and benefits. Results revealed that stakeholders are more likely to concentrate on optimizing current telehealth programs instead of increasing them, with only 10 percent of respondents indicating their organizations are aiming to expand telehealth offerings. Of the practice-based physicians, 70 percent declared they are sustaining or optimizing existing programs, while 56 percent of hospital executives shared the same sentiment.

The researchers also found that practice and hospital leaders viewed telehealth as a means of increasing patient access rather than market share. However, by 2023, Sage Growth Partners researchers predicted that competition in the telehealth market would increase significantly. Consequently, Dan D’Orazio, CEO of Sage Growth Partners, noted that organizations wanting to both attract and retain patients would need to offer or expand their telehealth services. He further noted that many hospital and practice leaders remain unaware of the importance of telehealth in preserving their market share, as only 21 percent of hospital executives and 15 percent of practice leaders recognized it as having a major or significant impact. D’Orazio asserted that by 2023, more hospitals and practices would begin to recognize telehealth as essential to competition and growth.

Additionally, the survey showed that telehealth provides a number of key benefits to organizations, with 73 percent of practice physicians and 62 percent of hospital executives reporting that it increases patient access, and 60 percent and 57 percent, respectively, citing improved patient satisfaction. Additionally, 46 percent of executives and 47 percent of physicians felt that telehealth could help boost physician satisfaction. Looking forward to 2023, it is predicted that organizations will focus on using telehealth to provide comprehensive care, while improving telehealth workflows. Currently, 57 percent of both practices and hospitals still need to create new workflows for telehealth visits, and hospitals are more than twice as likely to partner with third-party administrators for telehealth services than practices.