A survey conducted in 2017 of nearly 400 U.S. patients gauging interest in telehealth as a replacement for in-person doctor visits and then retaken 2 years later showed a distinct trend in patient interest and preference in providers that offer telehealth options. The number of patients that have used telemedicine has also increased.
“Doctors who adopt telemedicine software gain a competitive advantage over those who hesitate.” reports Lisa Hedges, Content Analyst at Software Advice. “The number one reason patients in our survey said they still hadn’t tried telemedicine was because their providers don’t offer it. If you’re one of those practices failing to offer these much-desired telemedicine services, you should strongly consider investing in this technology as soon as possible to recruit new patients.”
Josh Muraki, medical advisor team manager at Software Advice, talks to hundreds of practices about software options, and he has recognized a major increase in the number of callers asking about telemedicine. Telemedicine can be an extremely valuble tool. A whopping 96% of U.S. hospitals plan to expand their telemedical services in the coming year, and this survey found that patients are starting to match providers’ enthusiasm for telehealth.
More patients are using telemedicine
In the original survey conducted by Software Advice in 2017, 83% of the patients stated that they had never used a telemedicine service. Just a short two years later and the number has significantly decreased.
Patients want telemedicine as an option
Providers that offer patients a telemedicine option gain a competitive advantage over those that don't. Software Advice also surveyed patients how likely they would be to select a medical provider that offers telemedicine versus one that does not, and the results were incredibly positive.
The survey also addressed whether patients would prefer an in-person appointment or a telemedicine appointment if they were experiencing headaches—most preferred a video consultation. It was also determined that overall, patients are more interested in seeking telemedicine services for minor things like allergies, colds, or nausea, but still prefer in-person consultations for more serious issues like injuries.
When asked what benefits they enjoyed most, a combined 53% said that a major benefit is not having to leave their home. With mental health providers making up a large portion of our subscribers, it is evident to see how vital it is for certain patients to be able to connect with their provider right in their home.
Interestingly enough, the number one reason patients in our survey said they still hadn’t tried telemedicine was because their providers don’t offer it. If you are reading this and wondering if telemedicine would be a positive option for you and your patients, you should strongly consider investing in this technology as soon as possible.