American Well in collaboration with QuantiaMD conducted a nationwide survey of 2,016 primary care doctors, and found that 57% of physicians are willing to conduct video visits with their patients. Just 12% were unwilling to see a patient over video, while 31% of physicians remained uncertain. Work-life balance was the most popular reason physicians cited for seeing patients over video, followed by increased earning opportunity, and improved patient outcomes.
The study “Telehealth Index: 2015 Physician Survey” sought to determine physicians’ perceptions on video doctor visits. Overwhelmingly, 69% of physicians cited video as superior to phone or email communication for making accurate diagnoses for new patient consults: just 5% choose email as best for diagnosis and only 1% saying text is best.
“There’s a sea change going on within the physician community,” said Roy Schoenberg, MD, CEO of American Well. “Doctors see value in virtual visits for their patients and also in managing their own work-life balance. We’ve seen weekly physician inquiries about practicing online triple in less than six months.”
The study also found evidence that health systems may be able to increase referral revenue by adding peer telehealth consults to their specialty care programs.Beyond urgent care, 86% of respondents believe video visits are appropriate for medication management and prescription renewals; 80% saw video visits as appropriate for chronic condition management; and 70% gave the thumbs up for behavioral health.
Also, the study found evidence that health systems may be able to increase referral revenue by adding peer telehealth consults to their specialty care programs, with 60% of all primary care physicians surveyed saying that if a nearby hospital offered them a chance to consult with specialists via video, it would increase their likelihood of referring patients to that hospital. Physicians also revealed their priorities for peer clinical consults: dermatology, psychiatry, infectious disease, pain management, and neurology.
This survey was conducted online within the United States in May 2015.