The data: The AMA released results of its 2021 Telehealth Survey, which examined telehealth-related insights and experiences of 2,232 US physicians to highlight how doctors are using telehealth and how they plan to use it in the future.
The opportunities: These survey findings elucidate three areas where providers aren’t realizing the full value of virtual care.
1. Patient engagement.
Most physicians (63%) said 75% or more of their telehealth visits are with returning patients. Providers can tap patient engagement tools to foster stronger patient-provider relationships and drive up telehealth usage among the patient population they treat.
2. Remote patient monitoring (RPM).
A large number of the doctors surveyed (76%) reported that RPM data is usually shared manually (over the phone or via email). So it’s unsuprising that just 8% were actually using RPM tech with their patients.
3. Hospital and emergency department follow-up care.
Doctors are mostly using telehealth for medical (72%), chronic disease (68%), specialty care (49%), and mental health (44%) management. Hospital-level care and ED follow-up care are not being delivered as much through telehealth (33%). This underscores the opportunity for hospital-at-home solutions to make virtual hospital-level care more widely possible.
This would be even more valuable as the senior population rises and providers struggle to meet demand: Older adults(65+) are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized than middle aged adults (45-64), per the CDC.