Survey: Telehealth usage will increase overall in 2021, but growth will stabilize

Telemedicine use continued to increase overall in 2021, but has stabilized compared to the sharper growth curve in 2020, so CHIME Digital Health Most Wired survey results.

This year, 26% of health organizations have including acute care, outpatient care, and long-term or post-acute care facilities reported that a quarter or more of their patients have used telemedicine. That is less than in 2020, when 32% said that many patients had used telemedicine services, but significantly more than the 7% in 2019.

The CHIME survey found that 80% of acute and outpatient care organizations reported that more than 10% of their patients had used telemedicine in the past year, while 68% of long-term care institutions used telemedicine to this extent.

Meanwhile, 61% of the health organizations surveyed said they did not have telemedicine problems caused by lack of access to broadband internet, but 39% found that a patient’s broadband restrictions were preventing a patient from accessing telemedicine.

Outside of telemedicine, almost 87% of acute and outpatient care facilities have now introduced a company-wide patient flow system, with 96% of those surveyed saying this the they have bed tracking and patient flow tools in the emergency room and 89% say they have this technology in the intensive care unit.

The survey found that 83% of organizations have implemented tools for estimating patient expenses, compared with just 64% in 2020. CHIME attributed the increase to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. new rule on hospital price transparency, although several analyzes suggest that many hospitals are not fully compliant.

In cybersecurity, around 80% of acute and outpatient care organizations and 82% of long-term care facilities said their ability to respond to or plan for cyberattacks was not hampered by the pandemic.

But only 32% of companies had what CHIME called a “Comprehensive Security Program” that included new standards such as quarterly security progress and deficiency reports, biannual security updates with the board of directors, and a cybersecurity executive.


Although telemedicine, virtual care, and other digital health offerings were available before COVID-19, the pandemic has pushed healthcare providers and patients to adopt these tools more quickly.

“In the next year there will be a shift from digital point solutions such as outpatient telemedicine visits, which are necessarily offered in the context of the pandemic, to a full digital transformation in order to use these point solutions as part of a broader effort to achieve strategic goals and the future define. ”health landscape looks like. Telemedicine will undoubtedly be a large part of that prospect, ”said Bret Anderson, director of Chartis Group HealthcareITNews in September.

Meanwhile, cybersecurity continues to be an issue for health organizations. In June, Moody’s Investors Service warned that the risk of cyberattacks in the healthcare sector is high and the increasing reliance on digital healthcare technology has made it more vulnerable. The dangers are also increased in health care. One study found that ransomware attacks disrupted access to care and put patient safety at risk during COVID-19.


“There is tremendous change across the industry as more companies adopt digital health strategies that transform healthcare and care,” said Russell P. Branzell, President and CEO of CHIME, in a statement.

“The survey includes several categories to assess how effectively health organizations are progressing on their digital health journey. This year we see not only individual increases in categories, but also cumulative increases from the past two years, reflecting a long-running digital revolution. Top performers set an example that stimulates far-reaching change at an unprecedented pace. “

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