The switch to telehealth that many doctors and patients have had to make as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely positive, new research shows. Furthermore, the majority say some of the changes will be permanent going forward.
According to the survey of 500 executives in the healthcare industry, conducted by marketing agency Boston Digital, 57% of respondents said telehealth had increased the quality of patient care. In fact, more than half of those surveyed said their organisation had created new portals or micro-sites in response to the pandemic. Only 8% of respondents said telehealth initiatives were not important to their organisation.
Most survey respondents said more than 40% of the changes they had made in the face of the coronavirus pandemic would likely remain permanent.
However, the findings of the survey, while positive on the whole, do highlight some challenges that the telehealth industry must overcome. The most prominent challenge, the survey found, was patients’ ability to use new technologies.
Speaking to Healthcare IT News, Peter Prodromou, president at Boston Digital, said: “To overcome barriers, including a patient’s ability to understand new programs and associated technology, healthcare providers must implement a seamless user experience and a robust digital marketing strategy that effectively communicates to their diverse patient community.”