Scientific survey of telehealth/telemedicine in the US

The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care sent [grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]surveys to more than 5,000 randomly selected phyicians, intentionally oversampling rural ones, and received a high 31% response (1,557 respondents). Fifteen percent of the respondents indicated that they used telehealth  according to the report  on the analysis the data (the terms telehealth and telemedicine are used interchangeably in this report), “Family Physicians and Telehealth: Findings from a National Survey”, co-written by six authors, which is available now.

Compared with non-users, family physicians who use telehealth  are more likely to practice in a rural location, be younger, have practiced for 10 or fewer years, and employ an electronic health record (EHR), says the report. Almost half (49 percent) of telehealth users practice as part of an organization that is not physician owned (e.g., an integrated health or hospital system). More than half of telehealth users reported using telehealth one to five times in the past year, while more than 23 percent reported using telehealth on more than 20 occasions during the same period. Almost half of telehealth users stated they had used real-time video consultations in the past 12 months. In addition, 55 percent of surveyed telehealth users had used telehealth services for diagnosis or treatment in the past 12 months, and one-fourth of surveyed telehealth users reported using telehealth services for chronic disease management. (more…)