A recent report by Doximity reveals that both healthcare providers and patients have embraced telehealth services, citing positive outcomes and convenience. The survey, conducted among 1,200 physicians and 2,400 adult patients, shows high adoption rates and satisfaction with telehealth. Physicians highlight improved work-life balance and patient engagement, while patients appreciate easier and faster access to care. The report concludes that telehealth is expected to remain an essential part of healthcare, with 83% of patients planning to sustain its use.
According to a recent report, telehealth services have gained significant support from physicians and patients, highlighting their positive perception and belief in their ability to contribute to favorable outcomes.
The rise in telehealth adoption can be largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. To gain insights into the state of telehealth usage in 2022, Doximity, a digital platform for medical professionals in the United States, conducted surveys involving physicians and patients.
The survey included 1,200 physicians across nine specialties who had utilized Doximity telehealth tools in 2022. The findings revealed that New York, Chicago, and Boston had the highest adoption rates of the Doximity telehealth platform based on regional data. In terms of age groups, physicians between 30 and 39, 40 and 49, and 50 and 59 demonstrated the highest adoption rates.
Specialty also played a significant role in telehealth adoption rates. Among specialties, endocrinology, urology, and gastroenterology showed the highest usage rates. Additionally, specialties that dealt with a larger number of patients with chronic diseases had higher telehealth adoption rates.
The survey indicated that 44 percent of participating physicians used telehealth every week, 40 percent used it daily, and 11 percent used it monthly. Notably, psychiatrists and endocrinologists were found to be the highest daily users of telehealth.
Telehealth was delivered through various modalities, with video being the most widely used by 94 percent of physicians. Phone or audio consultations were followed by 73 percent, and messaging was used by 26 percent of physicians.
The survey highlighted that follow-up care was the most common use case for telehealth, with 92 percent of physicians utilizing it for this purpose. Approximately 57 percent used telehealth to review results and treatment plans, while the importance of telehealth in prescription refills was also recognized.
Physicians reported that telehealth had a positive impact on their work-life balance. 66 percent of respondents experienced at least one benefit related to time management, and most found it easier to manage their schedules.
Telehealth also resulted in improved patient engagement, as indicated by 61 percent of physicians who observed lower patient no-show rates. Furthermore, 77 percent of physicians noted improved or similar treatment adherence through telehealth.
Overall, 88 percent of physicians agreed that telehealth enhances patient access to care. The top factors contributing to this were ease of use (92 percent) and access across devices (81 percent).
To preserve patient access, 78 percent of physicians emphasized the need for pay parity between telehealth and in-person care, while 84 percent believed that cross-state telehealth flexibilities were important.
The report also included insights into patient perceptions of telehealth. Doximity surveyed 2,400 adult patients, half of whom had chronic illnesses. A majority of participants had engaged with telehealth within the previous year.
When asked about the frequency of telehealth use in the past year, 41 percent of patients reported using it one to two times, 38 percent used it three to five times, and 21 percent used it six or more times. 76 percent of patients agreed that telehealth improved access to care.
Telehealth adoption rates varied among different services. Follow-ups after in-person visits were the most common type of telehealth encounter at 46 percent, followed by regular check-ups at 36 percent and medication management at 34 percent.
Convenience emerged as a significant benefit, with 53 percent of respondents finding telehealth visits easier than in-person visits, and 43 percent considering them faster.
Regardless of recent telehealth usage, video visits were the most preferred, followed by phone consultations and messaging. The majority of respondents (77 percent) had access to smartphones, which were the most commonly used devices for telehealth (60 percent preference).
Satisfaction with telehealth was evident among patients who had engaged with it within the past year. 85 percent reported that their overall care was the same, if not better, through telehealth. Additionally, 54 percent expressed increased satisfaction with virtual care.
Remarkably, 83 percent of patients who had used telehealth in the past year expressed their intention to continue using it.
Based on these findings, researchers concluded that telehealth has already established itself as an active and integral component of healthcare and is likely to continue playing a significant role in the future.