What is Telehealth?

The rapid advance of technology in the form of high speed internet everywhere and the explosion of smartphones and tablets is rapidly changing how and where medical care is delivered to increasingly  tech savvy patients both young and old. According to the Health Resources Services Administration telehealth or telemedicine is the “use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration” From the patient’s perspective telemedicine is when they video conference with the health care provider from their smartphone, tablet or computer instead of being seen in the office.

The delivery of fast, convenient and quality healthcare is being driven by younger consumers and technologically savvy seniors. The grandparent who’s Facetiming or Skyping with their grandchild today is going to want to visit their provider the same way for routine care. They're looking for tech solutions that allow them to communicate with their providers, get prescription refills, pay their bills online, schedule appointments and more in an easy and secure fashion. Providers are looking to meet this demand and still provide the same high quality care while maintaining the personal connection. Telehealth satisfies all of these needs.

Patients want to see their own providers using telehealth but increasingly will choose other providers who offer this service over those who don’t. At the same time providers want to offer this service to their patients but get paid for it and want this technology to integrate into their EHR and Practice Management or PM system.

It's Important to Patient's that their Telemedicine Provider Know Them

In a 2015 survey over half the respondents (56%) believed it was important that they have an established relationship with their telemedicine provider and an even larger group (60%) believed it was important that the telemedicine provider have access to their medical records 1

Patient's are Searching for and Selecting Providers who Offer Telemedicine Services

Today’s patients are looking for and choosing providers that have digital capabilities. In a recent 2019 survey the consulting group Accenture found that more than 50% of today’s patients expect their providers to offer digital capabilities and have indicated that it influences their choice of care providers. 2,3   In the survey over 49% of patients chose a provider that offered the ability to communicate with them via secure video 2.  The trend is accelerating, the 2019 numbers reflect a 13% increase over the same data from just 3 years earlier.

Providers Want to see their own patients Virtually

In 2018 NextGen Healthcare, makers of the cloud based EHR Nextgen Office found that over 56% of their provider users are  today using or want to use telemedicine 4. An overwhelming (90%) of that group of providers prefered virtual visits with established patients: 

 Examples of these scheduled virtual visits include:
  1. Follow-up visits to ensure compliance with treatment

  2. Reviewing labs or image results 

  3. Managing medications and refills

  4. Pre and post visit procedure visit follow ups

Integration with Practice Management and EHR is the major driver for Provider Adoption and Payment

The NextGen Office survey and follow up focus groups highlighted the importance of integrating telemedicine visits in to their EHR/PM and their current workflows. Providers want to introduce telemedicine services and deliver them the same way they do their in-person visits. The ability to schedule, document care, send prescriptions as well as accurately charging and billing for their services.

Like other non-traditional care models, the delivery of telemedicine is increasing. Providers who adopt and use telemedicine are going to eclipse those that don’t. Making sure this powerful new tool is easy to use and part of their EHR drives widespread adoption and satisfaction.

The merging of technology and healthcare into telemedicine means that patients and providers will both experience better service and better healthcare leading to better outcomes.


Interested in Learning How NextGen Office Telemedicine can Help You? Click Here


1. Patient preferences for direct-to-consumer telemedicine services: a nationwide survey Brandon M. Welch, Jillian Harvey, Nathaniel S. O’Connell, James T. McElligott BMC Health Serv Res. 2017; 17: 784. Published online 2017 Nov 28 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5704580/
2. Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/health/todays-consumers-reveal-future-healthcare
3. Accenture 2018 Consumer Survey on Digital Health
4. NextGen Healthcare Telehealth Voice of the Client Survey April 2018
NextGen Focus Groups. Data on File.

AVS Medical

Written by AVS Medical