Study Predicts Virtual Care to Expand in Upcoming Year

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A recent study analyzed how health systems utilize and integrate virtual care into their daily practice.

Virtual health programs used by health systems will see a significant increase over the next 12 months, according to a new study conducted by Zipnosis, a virtual care platform. The study analyzed how health systems are deploying and using virtual care based on their current state in health systems, from adoption to common and future case uses.

Jon Pearce, chief executive officer of Zipnosis, said in a prepared statement that health systems are in a position to increase adoption of virtual care and expand access to quality care, and that their greatest asset is quality of patient experience.

“This report shines a light on the fact that virtual care deployed in health systems is a major area of opportunity, with respondents continually indicating planned and expected growth for virtual care in their organizations, from budgets to applications,” Pearce said.

According to the 2018 On-Demand Virtual Care Benchmark Survey, 96.4% of health systems are planning to expand their virtual care services in the next year, with only 3.5% stating they have no firm plans. The most respondents selected the survey options to add modes of care and expand use cases and specialties for patient-initiated visits.

Other takeaways included:

The Need for Behavioral Health

This was listed as the top area of need for 40% of respondents, followed by chronic disease detection and management which was 16%.

Phone Consultations are on the Decline

Approximately 2/3 of respondents looking to expand their platforms wanted to add real-time chat, video and asynchronous capabilities.

Efficiency

Forty-three percent of participants reported that the average work time for virtual care is between 1 and 5 minutes, in contrast to the 16 minute median for in-person primary care visits.

Simple Conditions are the Most Commonly Treated

More than 50% of respondents use virtual care to treat simple and more common conditions such as upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, cough and pinkeye.

EMR integration is Uncommon

Virtual solutions did not integrate with about 42% of respondents EMR, while 21% indicated that integration was a challenge.

The survey had 56 respondents in organizations ranging in size from no hospitals to more than 15.

References

New Research from Zipnosis Reveals Over 96 Percent of Health Systems Plan to Expand Their Virtual Care Service Amid Slow Industry Adoption [press release]. February 5, 2019. BUSINESS WIRE. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190205005651/en. Accessed February 7, 2019.

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