Given the risk of COVID-19 transmission at in-person visits, patients were finally ready to adopt virtual care. To meet demand, healthcare providers accelerated telehealth implementation. They found this method of care delivery an effective alternative to in-person visits.
Now that patients have embraced the benefits, it’s clear that telehealth is here to stay. About 83% of patients said that they would likely use telehealth beyond the pandemic, a study by Doctor.com found. Looking to the future, Frost & Sullivan has predicted a sevenfold growth in telehealth by 2025.
In the age of healthcare consumerism, many patients will not only continue using telehealth services, but will also expect these services.
Read on for four telehealth benefits that appeal to patients as consumers:
Saves time traveling to and waiting at the practice
Compared with office visits, virtual care offers time savings and convenience. In a study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, patients compared the advantages of virtual visits to those of in-person visits:
79.5% patients rated virtual visits as better than in-person visits for finding a convenient appointment time.
55.1% said virtual visits were better when considering time spent waiting for the physician.
94.5% favored virtual visits when comparing travel time to the appointment.
Patients appreciate that virtual visits don’t require missing work or spending time in traffic driving to the appointment, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.For sick patients or those with physical handicaps, the convenience of seeing a physician without leaving home is a major benefit.
Minimizes cost barriers to receiving care
That same study found that patients see virtual visits as a less costly option for care, since it reduces time away from work and the need for childcare while at an appointment. Additionally, telehealth removes transportation-related expenses, such as gas and parking costs.
Helps with managing prescriptions and appointments
Even beyond the pandemic, telehealth will provide an additional avenue for patients to engage in managing their healthcare.
The study by Doctor.com found that 93% of patients taking prescription medication said that they would likely use telehealth for requesting prescription refills or learning more about medications, while 91% of patients said that telehealth visits would help them keep appointments and adhere to prescriptions.
Practices can use convenient virtual visits as additional touchpoints to keep patients involved in their care plan — resulting in improved patient outcomes.
Builds a stronger patient-provider connection
Offering virtual care helps strengthen relationships with existing patients. About 74% of patients said that they would use telehealth to see a physician with whom they’ve already established a relationship, the study by Doctor.com found.
Telehealth is key to ensuring your patients feel that they can receive care when — and how — they need it. And by offering another way to connect with their providers, practices can increase patient engagement and improve the patient experience, too.
Need to brush up on your “webside” manner for virtual care? Visit this blog for tips to help.
Telehealth beyond the pandemic
“The near-term challenge, then, is to move from reacting to the crisis to building and institutionalizing what has been done well so far…. For healthcare, it’s about establishing virtual options as a norm.”
McKinsey & Company
As the popularity of telehealth continues to grow, Frost & Sullivan now forecasts the global telehealth market will reach nearly $50 billion in 2021. Practices are moving quickly to not miss out on this revenue. A Dec. 8 MGMA Stat poll found that nearly one in four healthcare leaders plan to add some combination of telehealth, contactless payment, or payment plans in 2021.
If you’re searching for an easy-to-use solution for your long-term telehealth strategy, look no further! With Greenway Telehealth™, you can reach your community with convenient live video and audio visits and a secure, HIPAA-compliant interface.