MHQP Helps COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Survey Physicians on Telehealth Impact During COVID-19
Nationwide Survey Finds Overall Satisfaction but Obstacles Remain
The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition – comprising more than 1,000 healthcare organizations, technology firms, and nonprofits, including MHQP – has published the Telehealth Impact Physician Survey.
More than 75% of respondents said telehealth enabled them to provide quality care for COVID-19-related care, acute care, chronic disease management, hospital/emergency department follow-up, care coordination, preventative care, and mental/behavioral health.
The 48-question survey, which MHQP helped create, captured the opinions of 1,594 physicians and other qualified healthcare professionals between July 13 and August 15, 2020. Among those surveyed, 87% were medical doctors and 13% were non-physician providers including nurse practitioners, psychologists, physician assistants, and social workers.
The survey is part of the Telehealth Impact Study prepared by the coalition’s Telehealth Work Group, comprised of the American Medical Association, American Telemedicine Association, Change Healthcare, Digital Medicine Society, MHQP, MassChallenge HealthTech, Mayo Clinic, and MITRE.
Topline findings show strong support for telehealth:
- 60% reported that telehealth has improved the health of their patients.
- 68% report that they’re motivated to increase telehealth use in their practices.
- 11% said they were using remote patient monitoring technologies with patients in their homes. Commonly used tools included smartphones, blood pressure cuffs, body weight scales, and pulse oximeters.
- 55% indicated that telehealth has improved the satisfaction of their work.
- More than 80% of respondents indicated that telehealth improved the timeliness of care for their patients. A similar percentage said that their patients have reacted favorably to using telehealth for care.
“The strong support shown for telehealth, as evidenced in these results, reinforces the knowledge that telehealth is critical to how we deliver healthcare today,” said Dr. Steve Ommen, medical director, Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care, and one of the study’s co-investigators. “The use of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic highlights its importance in care delivery. Its continued use will be instrumental in connecting to patients everywhere.”
Barriers and Challenges
The survey also found barriers and challenges still exist and/or are anticipated beyond the pandemic. For example:
- 3% indicated that no or low reimbursement will be a major challenge postCOVID. (Note: The government adapted many regulations to enable telehealth during the pandemic.)
- More than 64% said technology challenges for patients were a barrier to the sustainable use of telehealth. These perceived challenges included lack of access to technology and/or internet/broadband, as well as low digital literacy.
- 58% are not able to currently access their telehealth technology directly from their electronic health records.
These findings echo similar results MHQP has been finding in our “Together for Better Telehealth” initiative, an effort to help clinicians share what they are learning from their telehealth experiences to help the whole profession adapt to this new way of providing care.
“In MHQP’s work surveying clinicians about their telehealth experiences we have found a high degree of variation with clinician satisfaction and adaption of telehealth,” said Barbra G. Rabson, MHQP’s president and CEO. “Clearly telehealth can fill an important and longstanding need in our health system, but we still have a long way to go to make telehealth a viable option for all patients.”
About the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition
The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition is a private-sector-led response to the COVID-19 pandemic that brings together healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups. It coordinates members’ collective expertise, capabilities, data, and insights to preserve the healthcare delivery system and help protect U.S. populations. Learn more at https://C19HCC.org.