Health centers using telehealth for remote clinical care are performing slightly better in clinical quality measures than those relying on in-person care. This news comes from the Health Information Technology, Evaluation and Quality Center (HITEQ). It recently analyzed data from the 2017 Uniform Data System (UDS) survey.
According to HITEQ’s analysis health centers using connected care scored, on average, 1.18 percent higher in clinical quality measures. The Center for Connected Health Policy reported that even though the difference was slight, this shows a positive correlation between the use of telehealth and outcomes. It demonstrates that there is no reduction in quality when telehealth is utilized as compared to services delivered in-person.
This survey was answered by roughly 44 percent of the 1,373 health centers contacted. It reveals that these providers are using telemedicine for a wide range of services. The most common services, reported by more than half of the centers is telemental health.
Among other services cited in the report, roughly 27 percent use telehealth for specialty care, 24.5 percent use the technology for chronic care management and almost 21 percent use telehealth to provide primary care. 23.3 percent of those surveyed who use telehealth said they are using technology for services excluded from the survey.
CCHP notes that the UDS survey collects data on a variety of information, which includes patient demographics, services provided, clinical processes and results, patients’ use of services, costs, and revenues that document the health centers’ performance.
This data is reviewed by different organizations and policy makers in order to evaluate health center’s performance, identify trends and to come up with solutions to improve long-term patient health outcomes.