Telehealth adoption among hospitals and health systems is on the rise - Is it True?

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Telehealth adoption among hospitals and health systems is on the rise. It has risen from 54% in 2014 to 85% in 2019. While adoption among outpatient healthcare facilities has remained flat, according to two new reports.

70% of hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers are using two-way video/webcam technology specifically between physicians and patients, up from 47% in 2016, according to Definitive Healthcare's fifth annual inpatient telehealth study based on responses from 175 C-suite leaders, directors/vice presidents of IT and department directors at inpatient facilities.

Health systems and hospitals are using population management tools like SMS text, along with adoption of those tools growing from 12% in 2016 to 19% in 2019. Remote patient monitoring through clinical-grade devices has grown but at a slower pace, up from 8% three years ago to 14% in 2019.

Hospitals and health systems are planning to step up investment in telehealth technologies as 90% of organizations looking to make future investments in telehealth services plan to do so in the next 18 months.

Less than 10% of organizations have constructed a dedicated telehealth or virtual care center. But another 10% are in the process of constructing a telehealth facility or have plans to build one.

The authors of the report believe there are some complexities around the market for telehealth including, physician reimbursement and liability, patient access, and cost of implementing these services. But since adoption has been on the rise and telehealth market has matured, organizations now have a better sense of overcoming some of these hurdles and directly impacting patient care.

Jason Krantz, CEO of Definitive Healthcare, said that since healthcare is moving from fee for service to value-based care and with a focus on patient engagement, more personalized care delivery, and population health, telehealth solutions and services can bridge numerous gaps that exist in the current healthcare landscape.

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