15% of physicians have worked in organizations that offer telemedicine: 6 survey insights

Julie Spitzer - Print  | 

Despite regulatory changes that encourage the use of telemedicine, only 15 percent of physicians have  worked in practices offering telemedicine, according to a recent study published in Health Affairs and commissioned by the American Medical Association.

The study, based on a 2016 survey of 3,500 physicians, sought to  gauge how physicians are using telemedicine and how organizations are integrating it into healthcare delivery.

Here are six things to know:

1. Fifteen percent of physicians said they've worked in practices that used telemedicine for patient interactions, such as diagnosing or treating patients.

2. Eleven percent of physicians said they've worked in practices that used telemedicine to connect with other healthcare professionals, such as for specialty consultations or getting a second opinion.

3. Radiologists (39.5 percent) reported the highest use of telemedicine for patient interactions, followed by psychiatrists (27.8 percent) and cardiologists (24.1 percent).

4. Emergency medicine physicians (38.8 percent) reported the highest use of telemedicine for interactions with healthcare professionals, followed by pathologists (30.4 percent) and radiologists (25.5 percent).

5. Videoconferencing (12.6 percent) was the most common telemedicine modality, followed by store and forward (9.4 percent) and remote patient monitoring (7.3 percent).

6. Smaller medical practices and physician-owned medical practices reported lower rates of telemedicine use than physicians in larger medical practices, suggesting "the financial burden of implementing telemedicine may be a continuing barrier, especially for that segment of practices," according to the AMA.

To access the complete Health Affairs study, click here.

More articles on telehealth:

UMass Memorial Medical Center to add analytics platform to Tele-ICUs
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center unveils telepulmonology services
6 statistics on how commercially insured patients use telemedicine

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