Nearly one-third of physicians say developing an online personality, 'webside manner' is a top challenge for telehealth

Thirty-one percent of physicians across the U.S. have experienced challenges with developing an online personality when using telehealth at their practices, according to a recent Sage Growth Partners report.

For the Exploring Physicians' Perspectives on how COVID-19 Changes Care report, Sage Growth Partners surveyed 4,380 physicians between May 28 and June 3 about their current telehealth uses.

The participants are physicians practicing in primary care, behavioral health, medical and surgical specialties. At the time of the survey, almost two-thirds of primary care, behavioral health and medical specialty physicians said they were providing telehealth services, compared to 24 percent of surgical specialties.

Developing a "webside manner", or the virtual equivalent to a clinician's bedside manner, is one of the top issues physicians have had practicing telehealth. Here are some of the other top challenges they have cited:

  • Maintaining and explaining patient privacy: 82 percent
  • Seeing new patients: 79 percent
  • Cybercrime vulnerabilities: 75 percent
  • Need for increased insurance: 62 percent
  • Established patients, complex care: 54 percent
  • Inability to examine patients fully: 48 percent
  • Time management on appointments: 47 percent
  • Developing an online personality/webside manner: 31 percent
  • Lack of patient preparation for the visit: 26 percent

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