The Harvard Business Review (HBR) recently published a summary of a recent patient study involving 1.3 million Americans and their likes and dislikes about their usage of telehealth. For the study, HBR teamed up with Press Ganey, a firm that focuses on performance analytics and advisory solutions for healthcare, with the research involving a million plus U.S. patients that used telehealth Jan. – May 2020 across 154 medical practices.
During the study timeframe, the report noted that the peak of virtual care usage was in May, with 37 percent of patient care being conducted through video or telephone visits, where pre-pandemic that metric was below 1 percent.
That’s strong proof that telehealth is here to stay!
The survey results also showed that people prefer telemedicine for one obvious reason: convenience. Also, it seems, there is a powerful attitudinal shift a brew with patients — now consumers — feeling that providers are more attentive to their healthcare needs via the screen. Thus it seems patients are more apt to give higher satisfaction ratings for telehealth compared to in-person care.
Like us, you may have found this stunning, but after looking deeper, it makes sense.
Patients may feel that their healthcare providers care more about them when conducting a telehealth visit because of the current environment and patient safety, as heading to a clinic for in-person care is not the safest care path in a pandemic. Once more, providers may be focusing more on the patient — through the screen — to make up for lack of “hands-on” care. Eye contact is crucial in human interaction, and patients may be feeling improved eye contact through telehealth and its video screen connection.
At eVisit we call that “webside manner” and providers can get our quick tips to improve their webside manner with this quick 3-min read post.
The HBR-Press Ganey study delivered lots of good news for virtual care, along with three areas of improvement:
- Logistics. The process of scheduling and getting connected to a video visit is likely quite clunky, and patients are feeling it. The report noted that healthcare organizations should create a dedicated central team to scale-up their telehealth offering and redesign virtual care to support telemedicine and map it to the in-person experience.
- Enterprise-wide telehealth capabilities. The report said, “aided by the central team, all specialties should develop telemedicine capability to support organizational efforts to deliver a virtual patient experience across specialties.”
- Training. The HBR summary report also pointed out that providers and office staff should be trained in virtual care operational and communication practices to support the goal of delivering a consistent, cross-specialty patient experience. For example, patients should encounter a similar telemedicine “rooming” process (where they wait for their clinician to virtually arrive) across the organization.
As a team of Virtual Care experts, we couldn’t agree more with all the above.
Read the full quick-read HBR summary here.
Get Complimentary Copy of Gartner Guide
If you are like many healthcare leaders that plunged into telehealth with a video-only solution during the pandemic, you are likely realizing the need for a more robust end-to-end virtual care technology platform. The Gartner 2020 Market Report for Virtual Care Solutions can help guide your selection process. Gartner is the world’s leading research and advisory firm and this guide outlines the five critical capabilities to look for when vetting new solution partners. Plus it’s a quick read at under 40 min — that’s short for an analyst firm research guide. eVisit is proud to be included as a Representative Vendor in this Gartner report and you can get a complimentary copy here.
To learn more about the eVisit Enterprise Virtual Care solution and our consultative approach to helping the nation’s largest healthcare organizations establish an enterprise-wide virtual care offering to meet unique and ranging complex clinical workflows, go to evisit.com.
About the Author
Mardi Larson is eVisit’s Director of Content Marketing. She started out her career in technology in the High-Performance Computing industry at Cray Research and since then has worked for B2B and B2C mature and start-up brands and business across a range of marketing and communications roles. She heads a team with a goal of helping put the eVisit brand on the national map and shedding light on its unique differentiation in the marketplace including its purpose-built flexible technology designed to meet a range of clinic workflows and integration needs, as well as the eVisit’s consultative approach helping the largest health systems meet their goals in virtual patient care. Mardi’s career profile can be found at LinkedIn.