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Telehealth Appointments, Harris PollA recent Harris Poll survey confirms that clients/patients have embraced virtual care due to its convenience and the personal safety it offers. The Harris Poll, currently part of Harris Insights and Analytics, is one of the longest-running surveys investigating public opinion, motivation, and social sentiment in the United States since 1963. An online survey of adults was carried out in the United States, on behalf of NextGen Healthcare, a company specializing in healthcare technology.

Over Half Surveyed Now Have Used Telehealth Appointments

More than 2000 adults over 18 years old were surveyed, among whom 1733 were clients/patients (those who visit their health care provider at least once a year). The survey revealed that 53% of US patients have changed how they communicate with their health care providers since the pandemic. More than half have stated that they wouldn’t hesitate to seek the care of another provider if their current one doesn’t offer telehealth appointments.

According to the survey, the majority of respondents (84%) who have received telehealth services since March 2020 plan to continue to use them due to their convenience (43%) and to avoid sick people (39%). For more information about who is using telehealth, see JAMA Study: Women are less likely to use telehealthcare.

More Pro-telehealth Findings

  1. Over 57% of patients stated that they are more likely to seek follow-up care if telehealth appointments are possible
  2. Additionally, 7 in 10 patients (69%) stated that they had sought medical care via telehealth since the outbreak of the pandemic, among whom 46% had met with a primary care physician (PCP) and 19% with a mental health clinician
  3. Approximately 58% prefer to have greater online access to their health care provider, while patients aged 18-55 show a significantly higher preference (68%) than those over 55 years old (43%).

Other Digital Healthcare Services in Demand

For clinicians planning to continue delivering services to meet the overwhelming consumer demand for the convenience and safety offered by telehealth, other data addressed by the Harris Poll data may be of interest. The top online services endorsed by poll takers interested in digital healthcare services included the following:

  • Telehealth appointment scheduling (49%) Also see HIPAA Compliant Appointment Scheduling.
  • Ability to check-in or complete health forms/appointment paperwork online before an appointment (49%)
  • Online prescription management (48%)
  • Online medical records access (47%)

Overall, health care expectations have shifted dramatically and permanently. Clinicians and their organizations may want to consider the many advantages of online work and how to market those services both legally and ethically. They may also want to consider the pros and cons of developing a hybrid telehealth practice, where services are offered both in-person and online. See this TBHI Hybrid Counseling: Telehealth and In-Person Healthcare‎.

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