Harmony Health IT shard that Telehealth has experienced tremendous growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical providers have expanded access to care for patients by offering virtual appointments and other online services, which has allowed patients to speak with their doctor from the comfort of their homes during COVID-19.
As a health data management firm interested in telehealth’s potential in becoming more common, Harmony Healthcare IT surveyed Americans about their experiences with telehealth and if they plan to continue to use virtual medical services after the pandemic.
Telehealth and COVID-19
Telehealth has helped medical providers continue to see their patients virtually, either through video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Skype. Not only does telehealth provide convenience for patients, but it also helps them limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19, which is a priority considering that 71% of respondents are fearful to visit a doctor’s office or hospital due to the pandemic.
Overall, 67% of survey respondents said they have used telehealth in some form since the pandemic and 46% said they had used telehealth prior to COVID-19. Even though 63% were apprehensive about their first telehealth appointment, 72% ultimately enjoyed their experience.
Convenience, safety, and flexibility were the top three factors of telehealth that patients liked the most.
Telehealth Wait Times
Along with convenience, respondents also said they experienced shorter wait times with telehealth compared to in-person visits. More than half of respondents said the time between scheduling an appointment and visiting their medical provider was shorter than in-person. According to respondents, 61% said the time spent in the virtual waiting room was also shorter than an in-person visit.
However, one-third said they experienced delays during their telehealth visit due to technical difficulties and 28% said those delays caused them to miss or reschedule their appointment.