March 24, 2022

A Majority of Patients Appreciate Telehealth's Convenience and Appointment Availability

At the outset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, physicians needed to turn to telehealth strategies in order to safely conduct non-emergency appointments with patients. During this time, physicians and patients alike had to adapt on the fly to a new way of care.

Although the pandemic has dissipated in certain regions, it will still be some time before the world is able to totally move beyond COVID-19. As a result, physicians and patients will likely – in some capacity – continue to see one another using a reliable and secure video conferencing solution for the medical community.

One element that will help such a great technology move forward is understanding which aspects of it are most attractive to patients.

According to a recent survey conducted by Optum, 90% of patients polled said their favourite part of telehealth is how convenient it can be. Meanwhile, 52% said they believe it is easier to find an appointment time when an in-person doctor's visit is not required.

If a medical clinic can see that these qualities exist within their telehealth services, they should be able to get more patients engaged with telehealth.

"At the beginning of 2020, many physicians were not used to providing telehealth services and had to quickly adjust how they went about conducting patient appointments. Many opted for a video conferencing service in order to actually see their patients," offers Dr. Richard Tytus, Co-Founder of Banty Inc. "During this time, it took many in the medical community a lot of time to understand what patients needed from telehealth appointments in order to participate in more of them."

For doctors, this was a big deal, because if some patients chose not to participate in telehealth appointments, serious ailments could go undetected. As research from entities like Optum continue to emerge, the better telehealth practices will become.

"It is no surprise to me that patients are most appreciative of telehealth's convenient nature, as well as how much easier it can be to schedule an online doctor's appointment," adds Dr. Tytus. "When a patient enters an appointment tired and stressed out after a lengthy trip to the clinic, it can sometimes be hard to achieve all care objectives. Minimizing such negative emotions by giving patients an easy, online appointment option can make a world of difference."

Patients also told Optum that they view logging into an appointment from home (47%); post-appointment follow-ups (15%); and online scheduling as other main benefits of telehealth.