The Future of Telehealth

Lia Lawson and Lila Kelso

December 15th, 2021

In a recent blog post, we described the ways in which physicians and hospitals have leveraged technology (particularly telehealth tools) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond past use, it is important to understand how hospital executives plan to use technology moving forward. In a recent survey from HIMSS Analytics and Amwell, more than 100 executives at health systems and hospitals were asked about their intended future investment in telehealth. While larger survey findings can be explored here, we note here some of the biggest takeaways:

Over half of the executives surveyed (56%) note that they plan to, “increase their investment in telehealth solutions and virtual care over the next year.”

To fund this investment, executives reported an average budget of $6.2 million for IT, which also includes staff training and support.

Broken down into component parts, 29% of executives note that this plan includes adding telehealth capacity, 12% note that this will go to expanding virtual care, 9% note it will be for hospital at home programs and telehealth for speciality care, specifically, and 6% note that it will be for equipment and infrastructure.

Most executives (77%) expressed desire for consolidation of their services into one single, secure telehealth system.

On average, hospitals and health systems are using 3.45 different platforms for digital care and many executives note that it is either extremely or very important for them to move to one single system for ease of use.

Digital platforms should focus on allaying concerns about roadblocks to streamlining tools, as one in six respondents noted that they are worried about the feasibility of integration and cost.

Most providers are bought into the idea of streamlining into a single telehealth system, with 80% reporting that, “investing in fully integrated virtual or hybrid care systems would have a positive impact on clinical outcomes and patient experiences.”

Telehealth is becoming the norm for many providers, with 94% reporting that they are using telehealth today.

Within those using telehealth, 82% report that these platforms have improved patient access, and 53% report an improvement in efficiency.

Over 50% of clinicians said that the COVID-19 pandemic has positively changed their desire to use telehealth.

With the increased focus on streamlined telehealth systems in the coming year, it is important for technology providers to ensure they are providing hospital executives and clinicians with tools that ease the burden of coordination while allowing for additional care. Through our Care Measurement platform, Avant-garde Health consistently works to ensure that we provide straightforward technology that easily fits into providers’ and executives’ daily routine.


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