Monday, December 5, 2022

Survey: Consumers prefer telehealth over in-person visits for routine, mental healthcare

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The J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Telehealth Satisfaction Study released today shows a stark increase in consumers preferring telehealth visits over in-person appointments for a broad range of routine care.

The study finds that 67% of survey respondents relayed they have accessed video telehealth services during the past year. Before the pandemic in 2019, that number was 37%.

Among those who used telehealth in the past year, 80% stated they prefer using telehealth for prescription refills, 72% for reviewing medication options, 71% for discussing test results and 57% for regular mental health visits.

Additionally, 94% of telehealth users said they “definitely will” or “probably will” utilize telehealth to obtain medical services in the future. 

The top reasons for telehealth use were convenience (61%), the ability to receive care quickly (49%) and ease of access to health information (28%).

“Telehealth and digital technologies are transforming how patients seek and receive healthcare,” Christopher Lis, managing director of global healthcare intelligence at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “Telehealth has the potential to increase access, convenience, care coordination and continuity, improve outcomes and fill in gaps in provider coverage, particularly in underserved areas. As technology adoption and consumer demand continue to increase, it will be important to keep evaluating what’s working well and which areas need improvement, with the aim being to improve equitable access, quality of care and patient outcomes that complement in-person care.”

THE LARGER TREND

Telemedicine surged during the pandemic and allowed patients to visit healthcare providers when social distancing was necessary. Now that the pandemic has slowed, telemedicine has remained a part of patients’ experiences, especially compared to pre-pandemic times.

Still, some studies have shown some downsides to telehealth use. According to a study published in JMIR in July, telehealth may increase after-hours EHR-based clinical and administrative work. Still, many clinicians relay that treating patients in virtual-only or hybrid care settings best fits their lifestyle. 



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