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Patient Satisfaction

Patient Satisfaction with Telehealth High Following COVID-19

Topic: Patient Satisfaction with Telehealth High Following COVID-19

Telehealth is one of the top health sectors yielding a high patient satisfaction score, but just about half of patients are still citing some barriers to virtual care access, according to the J.D. Power 2020 US Telehealth Satisfaction Study.

Although telehealth has been around for years, it has seen its biggest use case during the COVID-19 pandemic. As medical providers had to shutter their doors to non-urgent and non-emergency care access, they turned to telehealth to make ends meet. The virtual care access technology enabled remote chronic disease management and generated some income for primary care clinics in dire financial straits.

More than a half a year since the initial pandemic surge, most experts say telehealth will become a part of the “new normal” in some fashion. That is due in large part to the high patient satisfaction the technology has created.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a moment of truth for telehealth, and, by most accounts, the technology is rising to the challenge and delivering a high degree of satisfaction among those who use it,” said James Beem, managing director of global healthcare intelligence at J.D. Power.

The overall patient satisfaction score across all telehealth providers came in at 860 on a 1,000-point scale, the survey of about 4,300 individuals who had used telehealth in the past 12 months. This is one of the highest patient satisfaction scores for a healthcare services study J.D. Power has ever done.

“However, even though the public awareness with Telehealth is higher due to the influence of COVID-19, the barriers for the consumer to engage with the technology has been a consistent theme in our research,” Beem added.

All said, 52 percent of patients said they encountered at least one barrier that made it hard to access telehealth. Twenty-four percent said services are too limited, 17 percent said technology requirements were too confusing, and 15 percent said they didn’t know how much telehealth was going to cost them.

Thirty-five percent of patients said they experienced at least one technology issue during a telehealth visit. Twenty-six percent said those issues were related to audio, which was the top-cited telehealth issue.

There were some differences among the survey respondent mix, the researchers said. By and large, patients with lower self-reported health and wellness levels tended to be less satisfied with telehealth.

On average, patient satisfaction scores among those with lower health status were 117 points lower than the overall 860 score, the report showed.

Topic Discussed: Patient Satisfaction with Telehealth High Following COVID-19

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