Enterprise Telemedicine Substantially More Successful than Departmental Approach

Fourth annual REACH Health survey reveals dynamic shifts and numerous industry trends
By: REACH Health
Organizations are more likely be successful with an Enterprise approach
Organizations are more likely be successful with an Enterprise approach
ATLANTA - March 20, 2018 - PRLog -- U.S. healthcare providers are increasingly leveraging a centrally managed (i.e., enterprise) approach to telemedicine, according to the results of the REACH Health 2018 U.S. Telemedicine Industry Benchmark Survey. Forty-eight percent of respondents indicated they use an enterprise approach, up from 39 percent in 2017. This corresponded with a significant drop in telemedicine initiatives managed by individual departments, from 36 percent last year to 26 percent this year.

"Not only are enterprise telemedicine programs becoming more common – they are markedly more successful," said Steve McGraw, President and CEO of REACH Health. "When we correlated these approaches with participants' achievements, we found that organizations taking an enterprise approach are 30 percent more likely to be highly successful than organizations with a departmental approach."

The survey revealed key findings about a wide variety of telemedicine topics:
  • Telemedicine still focused on patients. The top four objectives of respondents' telemedicine programs are patient-focused, a trend observed since this survey's inception in 2015. These objectives were all selected by at least two-thirds of participants.

  • Both clinics and behavioral health show dynamic growth. In the 2015 survey care, settings such as clinics and specialties such as behavioral health exhibited significant telemedicine opportunities, with many providers in the planning stage. The 2018 results show both are achieving their potential, with clinics exhibiting 37 percent growth and behavioral health exhibiting 40 percent growth in active telemedicine programs.

  • Regulatory uncertainty not slowing momentum. Despite regulatory uncertainty, more than 80 percent of respondents expect their internal adoption and use of telemedicine to increase or stay about the same, while more than 75 percent expect investment in telemedicine to increase or stay the same.

  • Top challenges are reimbursement-related. The survey ranked the top 20 challenges for telemedicine programs. Inadequate parity laws topped the list of unaddressed challenges for telemedicine programs, identified by 40 percent of survey respondents. An additional 37 percent said this challenge was only partially addressed. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement were second and fourth on the list.

  • EMR frequently inadequate for telemedicine. Most participants indicated their telemedicine platform is not integrated with their EMR system.  For those using their EMR as their telemedicine platform, nearly half are documenting in the EMR after remote consultations have ended, and more than one-third said their EMR does not enable them to adequately analyze telemedicine-specific metrics. Additionally, two of the top five telemedicine program challenges were EMR-related.
Survey respondents also identified other key insights about their telemedicine programs, including their primary contributors to return on investment (ROI), desirable technology features, key objectives and more. More than 400 healthcare executives, physicians, nurses and other professionals participated. Complimentary copies of the full survey report may be downloaded at: https://reachhealth.com/resources/telemedicine-industry-survey/.

About REACH Health
REACH Health provides enterprise telemedicine systems for multiple specialties and settings of care, all supported on a common software platform. The REACH 5.0 platform is recognized for fostering collaboration between bedside clinicians and remote specialists through shared clinical workflows. The system is highly configurable, enabling physicians to tailor each consultation based on personal preferences and specialty-specific exams, clinical scales and patient data.

REACH Health pioneered one of the nation's first telestroke programs and continues to lead the innovation of data-driven, guidelines-based telemedicine. Today, many of the nation's most successful telemedicine programs – including Augusta University Health, Penn State Health, MUSC, BIDMC, Temple University Hospital, and Navicent Health – rely on REACH to achieve measurable improvements in their clinical, operational and financial performance. For more information, please visit www.reachhealth.com.

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Tags:Telemedicine, Emr, Reimbursement, Telehealth, Healthcare Trends, Hospitals
Industry:Health, Medical, Technology
Location:Atlanta - Georgia - United States
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