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Telehealth availability plays a crucial role in healthcare plans for providers and patients. Just how strong is telehealth awareness among patients?
CompuGroup Medical has been monitoring the adoption of telehealth amongst our clients closely. We polled healthcare professionals to ask how their use of telehealth has changed over the years.
Sixty percent of respondents indicated that they have recently added telehealth solutions to their offerings, while 21% of those who already had it have seen an increase in its use.
According to a study by J.D. Power, 29% of patients who have not used telehealth indicate that it is not available to them and 37% say they do not know if it is offered by their health provider or health system. According to survey responses, rural areas are the least served as only 25% of respondents reported telehealth services being available. Rural areas especially would benefit from telehealth providers if available and if patients are aware of their options.
One of the most common ways patients become aware that telehealth is a tool available and a viable option is word of mouth. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of patients used the service because they received a positive recommendation from others: friend or family member or their primary care doctor or employer. 84% of patients who have used these services were able to completely resolve their medical concern(s) during their visit and 73% didn’t experience any issues during their appointment. This is proof of it being a viable option for practices.
For practices that offer telehealth services, but have not seen high adoption rates, it may be a patient awareness issue. Make sure you are speaking to your patients about telehealth options during office visits. Leverage your patient engagement tool to send email, text, or phone messages introducing the service and providing instructions for how patients can book. This can lead to increased use.
In a world that has grown accustomed to working from home and ordering food delivery online, the demand for telehealth and virtual appointments does not decrease.
Once a new normal has been reached, patients who are aware of telehealth, its conveniences, and other benefits continue to want it as an option.
As your practice works to improve patient awareness of telehealth as an option, make sure you're offering the best telehealth solution.
Telehealth services can play a key role in your practice’s business as a long-term addition. You can remotely monitor chronic care patients, set follow up appointments, and even treat minor conditions. These are billable events, giving your practice another revenue stream.
Adopting telehealth for the long-term can be something your practice is hesitant to do, but patients increasingly demand these services, so make sure that you're offering the best option and that you're communicating these options to patients to improve their telehealth awareness.
As awareness grows among your patients through word of mouth and broadcast notifications, the demand for your telehealth solution will remain.