Interactive & Digital Marketing: Facts & Figures
Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) of healthcare providers who currently use telehealth have seen an increase in the use of telehealth as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – with 71 percent reporting a great increase, according to a new survey by the healthcare communication platform provider TigerConnect. And while COVID-19 has sparked a moment, providers believe telehealth is here to stay – with more than two-thirds (71 percent) expecting the use of telehealth to increase or remain the same after the pandemic.
On the patient side, 87 percent of patients who tried telehealth are satisfied with the experience. More than 70 percent of patients now say it’s important for providers to offer a telehealth option, with less than 40 percent of respondents still preferring in-person visits over a telehealth consult. Moreover, patients who try telehealth want more of it; those who’ve used telehealth in the last year were more than twice as likely to have a strong preference for telehealth and video consultations over in-office visits. Also, nearly half of the patients who tried telehealth couldn’t find a single thing to dislike about their experience.
Telehealth is a bipartisan issue. Both Democrats (77 percent) and Republicans (66 percent) agree it is important for their health provider to offer telehealth services. However, access remains an issue. Nearly twice as many urban patients have used telehealth (53 percent) compared to rural patients (31 percent), possibly due to limitations around broadband reliability and cellular reception.
Convenience was widely cited as a benefit of telehealth. Half of respondents (50 percent) say telehealth is a convenient alternative to office visits, while 36 percent say it allows them to keep appointments that might otherwise be canceled. One in three (34 percent) say it makes it easier to schedule health check-ins. More than half (52 percent) of patients confirm that telehealth provides a safe alternative to office visits.
Boomers (55 and up) and Gen Z (under 24) were the groups least satisfied with their telehealth experience. Boomers cited excessive complexity, while Gen Z referenced a dearth of features.
Less than a quarter (23 percent) of patients said portals were a preferred method for communicating with healthcare providers, while (44 percent) of providers indicated that portals were one of the most effective methods for communicating with patients.
Telehealth is a fragmented market – for now. Providers named more than 140 different telehealth solutions they’ve deployed, with 14 percent using multiple solutions. Two out of three (65 percent) providers are satisfied with their existing solution.
“The people have spoken: telehealth is here to stay,” says TigerConnect CEO Brad Brooks. “The overnight move to telehealth is one of the fastest cultural shifts in healthcare in decades, and this research reveals it has already transformed the habits of millions of Americans who can now access great healthcare as easily as they can catch a ride to the airport. It’s up to our industry to seize this moment and ensure that it’s as easy as possible for anyone to access or administer world-class healthcare anywhere and anytime to improve health outcomes for all Americans.”