Recent Study from CVS Supports Advantages of Telemedicine
July 10, 2018
Over the last couple years the advantages of telemedicine have continued to grow and foster a high level of support in the medical industry. It’s only natural that as technology advances, the means to provide medical care does as well. The CVS Health Research Institute is just the latest source to provide case study evidence that the advantages of telemedicine are in fact real and quantifiable.
Last year CVS ran a pilot program through their MinuteClinic’s on telehealth services care. Their findings were published in the online Journal of General Internal Medicine. There William Shrank, M.D., and chief scientific officer for CVS Health, summarized his findings which were later reported by the press release source, PRNewswire.com:
“In the United States today, approximately a quarter of patients do not have a primary care provider or have incomplete access to one,” Shrank said. “This lack of access, combined with an increased demand for care resulting from expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the challenge of finding convenient care for patients balancing work and personal responsibilities, necessitate exploration of alternative, high quality care options such as telehealth in the MinuteClinic setting.”
The study attempted to track every level of customer satisfaction — from convenience and quality of care, to how it compared with traditional face-to-face visits. Overall 95% of the patients rated their experience as “highly satisfied” with all facets of the telehealth technologies.
This data supports what another study on other types of telemedicine found. One on telepsychiatry found that patients were more likely to keep appointments when they were using telehealth solutions as opposed to traditional visits (92% to 87%). A similar study revealed that patients were significantly more likely to no-show a traditional appointment (7.8%) than a telehealth one (4.2%).
The advantages of telemedicine are simple in many ways. It makes the healthcare process easier. For a field filled with uncertainty and bad news, that’s a welcomed change. If the telehealth market continues to grow as expected (reports say from $240 million in 2013 to $1.9 billion in 2018), there’s no telling all the new innovations it will bring with it. For now, Andrew Sussman, M.D. and President of CVS/Minuteclinic, put it most succinctly in the release of his companies study:
“Telehealth provides us with an opportunity to offer convenient, high quality care to an extended group of patients and this data confirms that patients are highly satisfied with this new type of health care provider visit.”
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