Telehealthcare adoption by both patients and doctors soared in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the need for a rapid shift in the way people access healthcare. The accelerated evolution of virtual healthcare is reflected in statistics from some of the world’s most respected researchers and consolidated in a data report from Wheel Health, Inc. The report highlights key 2020 medical industry trends. The telehealth statistics below illustrate the spectacular transformation of U.S. healthcare services in just one year, through virtual care adoption. The patient satisfaction data are especially remarkable.
Topics covered on this blog:
- Escalating Rates of Telehealthcare Use
- Patient Satisfaction With Virtual Healthcare
- Specialized Telemedicine Use
- The Future of Virtual Care
- Top Addiction Treatment Center
Escalating Rates of Telehealthcare Use
According to the CDC, telemedicine usage increased 154% in March 2020 from the same period in the prior year. Now, 46% of patients use telemedicine for some of their doctor visits, up from just 11% in 2019, and nearly half of physicians are treating patients through telemedicine.
2020 spurred the sudden widespread need for telemedical services, due to quarantine orders and public concerns about safety from the coronavirus. Health care providers quickly moved to meet the high demand for virtual care and maximize the use of online patient visits. Since early 2020:
- There has been a 57% increase in the number of patients who have had at least one telehealth visit.
- The majority of telehealth patients over the past year were between ages 18 to 49, according to the CDC, per the Wheel report.
- 83% of people who received telehealthcare in the past year said they will probably continue using it.
Patient Satisfaction With Virtual Healthcare
Sustained high rates of patient satisfaction with telehealthcare have validated this medical care delivery model. In fact, according to a J.D. Power report, telehealthcare patient satisfaction levels rank with the highest in the healthcare industry.
- An extraordinary 77% of patients reported that they were highly satisfied with their virtual healthcare, largely due to the convenience, speed of access, and safety in at-home visits.
- 75% said they want to make telemedicine a routine part of their healthcare.
- 50% of patients surveyed said they would be willing to change providers in order to have routine virtual health services.
- 91% of people surveyed said they believed that virtual medical care can help with prescription compliance or keeping appointments.
Specialized Telemedicine Use
Telehealthcare adoption has been especially high in routine treatment for chronic diseases as well as in mental and behavioral health. By mid-spring of 2020, a stunning 97% of primary health care providers were treating patients via telemedicine.
- According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, within only two weeks in 2020, 75% of outpatient cardiology care visits switched to virtual appointments.
- Behavioral health is the top medical specialty currently utilizing telehealth, with rheumatology and endocrinology also in the top three.
- Of mental and behavioral health specialists, 94% report that they want to continue providing treatment via telehealth delivery.
The Future of Virtual Care
Since physicians nationwide were forced into rapid adoption of telemedical practices with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic early last year, over 75% of doctors surveyed say telehealth has helped provide improved patient care.
This outcome is confirmed by reports of patient satisfaction with the telehealth services model, which have been overwhelmingly positive over the past year. As a result, telemedicine has quickly grown into a big subsegment of the medical industry — currently predicted to be a patient care component worth $106 billion by next year (2023).
There are great advantages for both patients and doctors in routine care and virtual urgent care. These include the major benefits of flexibility for healthcare providers to start and scale medical teleservices to benefit patients. They also include the increased capacity for providers to maintain more convenient services for more patients that meet the high-quality standards of modern U.S. health care consumers.
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