There has been a lot of talk about how telemedicine could affect
patients’ relationships with doctors in the future. HIDA’s latest
research shows this field is taking off right now, and big changes are
One in 10 patients report having a televisit with their primary care
provider within the last year, and consumers are planning to increase
these visits in 2017 at the expense of traditional office visits. The
leading reason patients choose televisits is the convenience they offer
and because they are highly satisfied with the experience. Compared to a
traditional doctors’ office visit, most patients say televisits offer
the same quality of care at a reduced cost.
These are just some of the insights from the latest Horizon Report Telemedicine: Patient Perspectives.
This report draws on a nationwide survey of over 1,000 patients on
their experience with televisits. Below is a deeper look at our
Most patients are upbeat on their recent televisits, with 85 percent
reporting they are satisfied with their experience. Additionally, 54
percent report their televisits are better than traditional office
Many respondents praise the convenience of the experience, adding
they did not have to take time off from work for their visits or even
leave their homes. One respondent described it as the “coolest service
The majority of televisits are 50 years old or younger, with
Millennials comprising 60 percent of televisits users. One key reason
patients use televisits is to save money, as 40 percent of patients 50
and under with high-deductible health plans used televisits, compared to
26 percent of patients with other types of insurance.
Patients say the top reason for using televisits is convenience. Even
patients who currently do not use televisits identify it as a leading
benefit. Nearly 30 percent said televisits offered shorter waiting times
for speaking to medical personnel.
HIDA’s research indicates that patients plan to increase their
televisits in 2017, with a majority saying they plan to replace more
than half of traditional office visits with televisits over the next
three years. Additionally, offering televisits can increase total
physician visits, according to an analysis from the RAND Corporation
released earlier this year.
Conclusions from this report support our earlier findings that
patients, particularly Millennials, are strongly motivated by quality
and convenience. This new generation of patients also seeks providers
who make visits convenient for them and offer ways to limit unnecessary
Suppliers still play key role in driving patient satisfaction
HIDA’s earlier Horizon Report Patient Satisfaction: How Medical Products Improve Consumer Experience showed
how suppliers have a key role in helping providers improve patient
satisfaction. This research revealed that patients want fast results and
value up-to-date technology and equipment.
The ability to offer televisits is one key way your physician
customers can impress Millennial consumers, since it uses modern
technology and is more convenient to patients. Bear this in mind when
helping your customers think of new ways to appeal to patients.
To access our telemedicine research, or any of our earlier Horizon Reports, visit www.HIDA.org/HorizonReport.