Telehealth being used to fill patient care gaps.
The use of telehealth services has surged inâ¯inpatient settings â¯but remains relatively flat forâ¯ outpatient locations, according to a pair of surveys released by Definitive Healthcare.
In this survey, data and analytics company Definitive Healthcare polled healthcare providers in the C-Suite and IT directors/VP categories to determine telehealth adoption trends, technology, and services.
The Definitive Healthcare 2019 Inpatient and Outpatient Telehealth Studies are conducted annually to highlight the historical trends of hospitals and health systems as they begin implementing telehealth technology and services in their approach to patient care. This is the fifth iteration of Definitive Healthcare’s Inpatient Telehealth Study, and the third iteration of the Outpatient Telehealth Study.
Related article: Telemedicine and E-Visits: An Update
“These studies highlight a positive outlook for the adoption of telehealth to increase patient access to care and enhance physician communication while continuing to move technological advancements in the space forward,” according to Kate Shamsuddin, senior vice president of strategy at Definitive Healthcare. “Whether urban or rural hospital, academic medical center or critical access facility, organizations are finding new and creative ways through telehealth to fill gaps in patient care, increase care access, and provide additional services to patient populations outside the walls of their hospital.”
Inpatient findings include:
Outpatient findings include:
The findings of the 2019 Outpatient Study showed that while 44% of respondents have adopted telehealth technology there is still a divide between hospital-owned and nonhospital-owned practices, as roughly 55% of hospital-owned practices have adopted telehealth technology versus 37% for nonhospital-owned.
“As healthcare organizations continue to expand their reach to patients and fellow providers, we anticipate that telehealth will be one of the core linchpins for providers,” says Shamsuddin. “Providers in a variety of settings are keeping a close watch on the telehealth market, particularly as the technology continues to mature and CMS/private payer reimbursement policies continue to expand. Many of the providers who are hesitant to implement are simply waiting to learn about their many options and determine the ROI associated with these solutions.”
Based on the survey, there are four things healthcare executives should know about telehealth:
Looking ahead, the surveys will evolve to include questions that evaluate different types of telehealth technologies and their effectiveness, as implementation rates start to flatten. Both surveys will also begin to examine more closely the return on investment (ROI) providers are getting from telehealth platforms and their success in furthering population health and patient management goals.