The recent increase in the use of telehealth in the medical industry has come as no surprise to many people. A recent survey indicates that since before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 70% of physicians were already relying on videoconferencing to conduct regular patient visits. What has caused a surprise, however, is the different types of physicians who prefer to use virtual care, with services such as medical transcription services and other technologies to provide aftercare for their patients.
In a recent AMA research, the reports show that dermatology patients, urology patients, cardiology patients, and pediatric patients opted to consult their physicians through videoconferencing. Periodic video visits are also performed by more than 80% of general practice physicians, around 80% of family physicians, and almost 80% of internists.
These professionals are also utilizing telehealth EHR in a number of ways. Among all the professionals that were interviewed: a majority of them said they preferred using telehealth to treat and diagnose their patients, while some used telehealth to monitor chronic disease patients. About 50% of physicians use telehealth to care for patients with acute diseases while some used it to provide preventive care to patients. AMA researchers also observed that the cause of the large variation was the majority of physicians that hadn’t provided remote checkups the previous week, and those who preferred providing aftercare visits remotely.
As the reports indicate, mental health professionals had embraced telehealthcare the most, with psychiatrists leading with about 83% preferring to use telehealth to diagnose and give prescriptions to patients. However, not all telehealth consultations were done via video conferencing. According to the American Medical Association, some of the consults and visits were done via phone calls(29%), while more than 30%of remote visits were done via video. There was a weekly average of about 10% video visits and 7.6% phone call visits across all the interviewed specialties.
As research would have it, it’s not only the physicians who prefer using video conferencing for health visits, patients also enjoy using telehealth for checkups. A study conducted last summer by Cleveland Clinic showed that a majority of the respondents ranked their telehealth visits higher than their in-person visits.
Even as telehealth and EHR transcription continue their upward trend despite people still doubting their efficiency, it is clear that telehealth has opened many doors in how aftercare visits are conducted. And it’s not just making changes in the health industry alone: many more organizations and industries are embracing telehealth as the new trend in service delivery.