The pandemic, which hit the United States in early 2020, brought along with it an explosion of telehealth adoption that is transforming how patients request and receive care. As the world returns to a “new normal,” the presence of telehealth options to manage medical needs, is something patients are requesting and even expecting.
Here are three ways that 2020 is on pace to be THE year that changes how patients, medical providers, and even large hospital systems approach healthcare.
- The new doctor’s appointment.
At its height this year, more than 20% of all healthcare visits in the United States employed some form of telehealth technology. And, the number of adults who have used at least one telehealth appointment jumped up nearly 60%.
As the pandemic continues to stretch on, medical experts expect that the growing adoption of telehealth services will continue and rapidly expand well into the future. This could serve to completely transform the majority of Medicare, Medicaid and private doctor visits.
- A quieter emergency room.
With telemedicine being able to provide preventative and diagnostic care for non-emergency conditions, hospital systems have seen a decline in the number of patients in emergency rooms. This will represent a significant shift with more patients being equipped and able to handle their medical care at home, with the virtual support and guidance of a physician.
The decrease in the number of emergency room visits, could account for a decrease in medical costs for patients of upwards of $106 billion by 2023.
- A growing demand for telemedicine.
It is estimated that from 2015 to 2018, the number of physicians that offered telehealth as a service in their practices increased by at least 20% year over year. And, in the past 12 months alone, that number has jumped another 38%, with a large majority of these new telehealth providers being women.
As the telemedicine industry rapidly expands, it will be critical for providers to leverage proven marketing strategies to stay in front of patients who are actively seeking virtual healthcare options.
Since patients have been primed and are more willing to use telemedicine now than ever before, this represents the best time to market to this new virtual-oriented patient. Using digital marketing can be highly effective in both reaching patients but also educating them on the many benefits that telehealth services can provide.
By offering promotions, discounts, or low-cost telehealthcare plans, you can easily gain traction in the industry as more and more patients are open to using telehealth over more costly traditional healthcare models.