The recent findings from the American Telemedicine Association’s (ATA) 2017 Telemedicine Executive Leadership Survey were overwhelmingly reassuring for telehealth proponents in the U.S.
Based on responses from 171 executive leaders representing telemedicine service providers, health care practices and hospital systems, the survey revealed that over 98% of respondents felt that telehealth services created a competitive advantage over organizations that do not offer any. Additionally, patient-centered care and EHR interoperability were cited as the top industry advancements that respondents were most excited about.
The benefits of telemedicine have understandably been amplified by a confluence of other factors, including stronger payment incentives, a shortage of primary care physicians, and robust efforts by employers to shrink health care costs. One of the most noteworthy advantages of the industry on the health care delivery system lies in the accelerated growth of specialized platforms; available services include urgent care, behavioral health, chronic disease management, mobile stroke response, and even OB-GYN. For an industry still in its early stages, telemedicine is poised for success in an increasingly compartmentalized market.
Still, though, “resistance to change,” was a key challenge to industry growth noted by respondents to the ATA survey. Hurdles such as interstate licensure are being met by legislative efforts to help streamline the integration of telemedicine services, but a long road still remains ahead.