When we built MediSprout, we never imagined the kind of impact it could have on the healthcare industry, physician colleagues, and patients during such an historic and challenging time. To put it into perspective, each week for the last three weeks, MediSprout has built and launched a white label telehealth solution for a major health system in the NY metro area with more than 1,000 individual providers, including administrators and scheduling staff, joining from each hospital. This does not include the huge volume of medical offices that have joined our platform from individual offices to large single and multi-specialty groups during recent weeks as well. And while those numbers are staggering and sobering because of the bigger meaning behind them, I know many are wondering and writing about whether telehealth will be a sustainable healthcare solution once COVID-19 cases slow down and the curve flattens. Will physicians and patients be ready to adopt telehealth as a permanent part of their patient care in this new reality and not just as a stopgap or interim measure?
The numbers certainly support that telehealth adoption during the pandemic may translate to long-term acceptance by patients. In a survey from HIT Consultant, 73% of respondents would consider using a telehealth service to be screened for COVID-19 and nearly 60% indicated that COVID-19 has made them more likely to consider using a telehealth service in the future. The survey also went on to show that “an overwhelming amount of those who have tried telehealth services stated they were satisfied enough with the experience that they either already have or will consider scheduling another one in the future.”
Hospitals and clinics are ready to adopt telehealth as well. According to the Washington Post, New York University’s Langone Medical Center, went from 20 virtual-care clinicians to 1,300 over a few days, and is now conducting more than 70 percent of its visits virtually. With both patients and physicians ready and willing to adopt telehealth, the next question becomes how can we encourage the widespread adoption of telehealth outside of the frenzy of a pandemic?
Each practice, hospital and physician may have adopted a telehealth solution to get them through the surge in demand brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. But what we have always known here at MediSprout is that telehealth is a great way for doctors and patients to connect. We have seen the greatest benefit occur when it’s used as a tool to improve continuity of care, connecting patients to doctors who already know them. The power of telehealth is magnified exponentially when you combine the video/audio connection with the benefits of a past relationship, and in-depth understanding of past
medical history and current medical status. The engagement becomes far more valuable than that of a sterile provider-patient interaction where no relationship exists. Not only does it add value to the issue at hand, but there is a feeling of reassurance knowing that long-term interests are being considered as well. In the event that specialty help is required, you know that you will be referred to the help you need — preventing frustration and avoiding potentially more urgent issues in the future. What we have seen in all practices is that people’s medical needs outside of COVID-19 do not need to deteriorate if they have a safe, efficient telehealth connection to their doctor, likely preventing what could have been a secondary healthcare crisis if people’s regular healthcare needs were not met.
MediSprout, with its telehealth platform, V2MD, has always encouraged the adoption of telehealth by promoting its many benefits, particularly its convenient access to care, and saving patients and providers valuable time and expense. In our new reality, the only benefit that matters is the health and safety of our patients and our medical care providers. Through this pandemic, not only have doctors and patients realized how telehealth can save lives, they have seen how they can deliver and receive the same great care virtually that they may have received in person from their own doctors. Now in this new reality, telehealth will remain critical for our future — beyond COVID-19.
As we mentioned above, we have lots of experience onboarding practices of all sizes to our telehealth solution, V2MD, quickly and this same experience applies directly to multi-specialty or large healthcare providers too. We have helped providers effectively overcome their telehealth adoption challenges whether it is an overwhelming range of choice or lack of an adoption roadmap. If this sounds like your experience, and you’d like to learn more about V2MD, click here and we will be happy to assist.