Survey Offers Insights from Hospitals and Health Systems, Health Plans and Clinicians on Opportunities and Obstacles for Next Era of Digital Care Delivery and Virtual Care Platforms
Amwell® (NYSE: AMWL), a national telehealth leader, today released results of an industry survey of hospitals and health systems, health plans, and clinicians on topics spanning telehealth, patient engagement, system integration and more.
Survey results highlight the rapid emergence of the next era of digital care. While most early telehealth use focused on urgent care, the pandemic created unprecedented volumes of Covid-19 need-driven telehealth alongside rapidly accelerated demand for scheduled virtual primary and specialty care appointments. Now, as survey results reinforce, senior decision-makers from hospitals, health systems and payers alike in addition to frontline clinicians are shifting toward virtual care as a permanent fixture for care delivery and access moving forward.
“During the pandemic, telehealth proved to be a critical, and in many cases the only connection point between patients and care teams. For many organizations that meant launching and scaling telehealth as quickly as possible. Now, healthcare decision-makers are taking stock of the systems and solutions they implemented, and many are realizing that what proved useful and successful amid emergent situations is simply not robust enough to meet ongoing care delivery goals and needs,” said Ido Schoenberg, Chairman and Co-CEO, Amwell. “The survey findings support what we are hearing from the market: there’s a need for ‘smart growth’ defined by prudent, deliberate investment in digital infrastructure that connects and integrates seamlessly into existing workflows and supports physical, virtual and automated care at the enterprise level. This is what’s paramount for the future state of healthcare.”
Survey findings point to the fact that senior decision-makers from hospitals, health systems, and payers, along with clinicians uniformly desire a more streamlined and systemized digital infrastructure, one enabled through platform consolidation. With healthcare leaders taking stock of the industry’s and their own organization’s platform “sprawl,” attention is shifting from expediency to strategy. Results from the survey show that priorities across hospitals, health systems, health plans and clinicians are focused on integrating telehealth as core to care delivery, improving the patient-provider experience, and achieving seamless and sustainable hybrid care models. Additional key findings include:
- Shifting Focus to an Integrated, Single-Platform Strategy: A streamlined experience for patients and clinicians, interoperability and a sustainable infrastructure are essential for the future of telehealth. Over 80 percent of clinicians reported that investing in fully integrated virtual or hybrid care systems would have a positive impact on clinical outcomes and patient experiences and 75 percent of payers said that access to virtual care data and insights through a single digital platform would streamline member experiences, improve patient outcomes, and support the development of innovative models of care coordination and delivery.
- Continued Growth, Diversification of Uses and Investment: 94 percent of all clinicians reported using telehealth today – well above pre-pandemic levels – and over half of the payer organizations surveyed reported having several virtual care offerings. Clinicians also shared their perceived top benefits of virtual care:
- 82 percent cited improved patient access,
- 53 percent reported increased efficiency and
- 51 percent said improved patient experiences were telehealth’s top benefit.
Additionally, over 50 percent of clinicians said that the pandemic had positively impacted their long-term desire to use telehealth, and 56 percent of hospitals and health system leaders said they are planning to increase their investment in telehealth and virtual care solutions over the next two years.
- Awareness of and Concern for Platform Sprawl: Technology and interoperability continue to be a challenge, with platform “sprawl” emerging as a new and pressing obstacle as stakeholders across the ecosystem desire a streamlined and systemized digital infrastructure, including platform consolidation. 77 percent of hospital and health system leaders shared that moving toward a single, secure, and fully integrated virtual care platform was important for their organization. 25 percent of clinicians also said that virtual care systems and current workflows are not integrated with their organizations’ existing systems, with most payers and clinicians using at least three platforms for virtual care and 20 percent of academic medical centers using eight or more digital care platforms.
This three-part survey was sponsored by Amwell and fielded online in July 2021 by HIMSS Analytics. Researchers screened and qualified participants to ensure that respondents had significant involvement or influence in decision-making regarding digital technology and investments within their organization (for the payer and health system segments) or are actively providing patient care (for the clinician segment). Amwell was not identified as a sponsor of the research.
To view additional insights from this survey please see the associated Building the Future of Virtual Care: Streamlined, Scalable, Sustainable eBook here: https://business.amwell.com/resources/amwell-industry-telehealth-survey-paints-picture-of-an-integrated-streamlined-digital-care-future/
Amwell is a leading telehealth platform in the United States and globally, connecting and enabling providers, insurers, patients, and innovators to deliver greater access to more affordable, higher quality care. Amwell believes that digital care delivery will transform healthcare. The Company offers a single, comprehensive platform to support all telehealth needs from urgent to acute and post-acute care, as well as chronic care management and healthy living. With over a decade of experience, Amwell powers telehealth solutions for over 2,000 hospitals and 55 health plan partners with over 36,000 employers, covering over 80 million lives. For more information, please visit https://business.amwell.com/.
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