Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 05, 2023

Telehealth Expansion Lets Off Accelerator in 2023

The beginning of the pandemic saw just about every industry make the switch to remote work. Yes, that included healthcare via telehealth.

Telehealth's surge during the pandemic is a result of the convenience that came with remote healthcare during a time when most are at home to stay isolated, while leaving medical centers open for patients needing to visit in person because of COVID complications.

The pandemic is on the downward slope now, so questions are being asked whether telehealth can keep its accelerated growth that it experienced within the past three years. The simple answer is that the expansion of telehealth is expected to slow because medical centers are keener to build on the telehealth systems they have in place, according to a Sage Growth report.

In fact, almost three-fourths of practice physicians are focused on sustaining or optimizing their telehealth programs while about only 10% of survey respondents said their organizations are focused on growing their telehealth offerings.

It’s clear that survey respondents are satisfied with the care their organizations provide by telehealth because it ensures continuity of care and enables more comprehensive care. They simply want to build on the foundation they set with their programs.

But there is one negative to telehealth services, and it affects clinical teams. Of those surveyed, 52% of practice-based physicians and 35% of hospital executives believe that telehealth services increase the workload of support staff.

In 2023, practices and hospitals need to focus on improving telehealth workflows or face the consequences of overworked clinical teams.

One solution is to consider partnering with third-party administrators to provide telehealth services to patients, and a quarter of survey respondents say their practice is likely to change the administering party over the next two years.

“While more organizations are recognizing that telehealth can help ensure continuity of care and enhance the in-person care being delivered, there is still work to do to fully optimize telehealth to extract its full value,” said Stephanie Kovalick, Sage Growth chief strategy officer.

The pandemic forced the healthcare system to change how they deliver care to patients. Sure, the spike of telehealth services is expected to slow, but the key is to be innovative. Those who innovate most will move beyond leveraging telehealth to ensure continuity of care by fully applying it to enhance in-person visits and improve clinical outcomes.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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