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Insights Report: Doctors’ Influence Wanes as Telehealth Rises, Female Physicians are Early Telehealth Adopters, Telehealth Differences Across the U.S., and More!

Survey Shows Doctors’ Influence Wanes As Telehealth Rises Due to Covid-19 Forbes   

According to a 7,000-person survey from Oliver Wyman, telehealth is now commonly used by many Americans. More than 33% of respondents said they had a video visit at some point during the pandemic. This is new: 85% of those respondents said it was the first time they tried telehealth.

The survey also demonstrated how the pandemic may have facilitated fundamental differences in how consumers use healthcare and who influences their healthcare decisions. Although 90% of respondents have a PCP, more than half of them had sought care elsewhere during the pandemic. 61% of respondents said their PCP is very influential in their healthcare decisions but another 25% said they are only moderately influential. The waning influence of doctors may have clinical implications, meaning that doctors will need to evolve to find ways to reach patients on their own terms.

Female Physicians More Likely to be Early Telehealth Users Healthcare IT News

JAMA Network Open recently published a study that found while most physicians in a large regional healthcare system began offering virtual care in their practice by December 2020, female physicians were more likely to be early adopters than others. Researchers organized more than 3,000 physicians into 4 categories:

  1. Innovators (virtual visits before 3/15/20) = 13.8%
  2. Early Adopters (adopted telehealth week of 3/15/20) = 45%
  3. Majority (adopted telehealth on 3/22/20 or later) = 35.6%
  4. Persistent non-adopters (no adoption through 12/31/20) = 5.6%

The key takeaway? “Innovators” and “early adopters” were more often female doctors.

Top 10 Health Technology Hazards 2022 Report – ECRI Institute

 The Emergency Care Research Institute recently released its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards 2022 report, which identifies potential sources of risks for hospitals, medical practices, and home care providers.

 Telehealth was included at #5 on the list based on ECRI’s review of the organization’s incident investigations, independent medical device testing and reporting databases.

 Below is the full list of top health technology hazards for 2022:

1) Cyberattacks

2) Supply chain shortfalls

3) Damaged infusion pumps

4) Insufficient emergency stockpiles

5) Telehealth workflow and human factor shortcomings

6) Failure to adhere to syringe pump best practices

7) Artificial intelligence-based distortion of medical images

8) Poor duodenoscope reprocessing, ergonomics, and workflows

9) Disposable gowns with inadequate barrier protection

10)  Wi-Fi dropouts and dead zones

 Telehealth Restrictions Across the U.S.: Comparing States’ Laws Becker’s Hospital Review

Laws determining telehealth access vary widely across the 50 states. In a report released by Reason Foundation, Cicero Institute and Pioneer Institute, researchers assessed each state’s telehealth laws for patient access and ease of providing virtual care, using eight key factors. Below are their findings:

  •   In-person requirements: 47 states do not have an in-person requirement to establish a provider-patient relationship before being able to use telehealth.
  •   Modality neutrality: 46 states explicitly allow synchronous and asynchronous appointments or have a broad enough definition allowing its use.

o   28 of these states also have telehealth laws that account for store-and-forward and remote patient monitoring.

  •   Barriers to telehealth across state lines: AZ, FL and IN have registration or licensing processes for all out-of-state healthcare providers to see patients across states lines. 34 states have clear barriers to telehealth across state lines.

Understanding Telehealth’s Value and its Future: 3 Key Insights American Medical Association

The AMA’s Vice President of Health Solutions, Lori Prestesater, and the Vice President of Digital Health Innovations, Meg Barron, spoke with healthcare executives from around the country at Becker’s 6th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Virtual Conference. The AMA sponsored a roundtable discussion on the value of telehealth where Prestesater and Barron provided 3 insights they’ve learned from physicians in the last few years.

  1. Physicians support the continued use of virtual care – as long as key concerns are addressed:
  2. Does it work and have an evidence base?
  3. Will clinicians receive fair payment?
  4. What liability and privacy concerns are there?
  5. How will the change be implemented and managed?
  6. Improved access is one of telehealth’s major advantages.
  7. Challenges to Telehealth:
  8. Adequate bandwidth in some areas of the country
  9. Ways to measure the value of telehealth




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