Amwell and HIMSS Analytics: Building the Future of Virtual Care: Streamlined, Scalable, Sustainable. Insights from Amwell’s 2021 Survey of Health Plans, Hospitals and Health Systems, and Clinicians

Amwell and HIMSS Analytics surveyed 100 executives at health plans, 102 senior leaders at hospitals and health systems, and 100 frontline clinicians and support staff about their post-pandemic strategy and planed investments in telehealth. Results from the survey show that priorities across hospitals, health systems, health plans and clinicians are focused on integrating telehealth as core to care delivery, improving the patient-provider experience, and achieving seamless and sustainable hybrid care models. Additional key findings include:

  • Shifting Focus to an Integrated, Single-Platform Strategy: 80 percent of clinicians reported that investing in fully integrated virtual or hybrid care systems would have a positive impact on clinical outcomes and patient experiences and 75 percent of payers said that access to virtual care data and insights through a single digital platform would streamline member experiences, improve patient outcomes, and support the development of innovative models of care coordination and delivery.
  • Continued Growth, Diversification of Uses and Investment: 94 percent of all clinicians reported using telehealth today – well above pre-pandemic levels – and over half of the payer organizations surveyed reported having several virtual care offerings. Clinicians also shared their perceived top benefits of virtual care:
    • 82 percent cited improved patient access,
    • 53 percent reported increased efficiency and
    • 51 percent said improved patient experiences were telehealth’s top benefit.

Additionally, over 50 percent of clinicians said that the pandemic had positively impacted their long-term desire to use telehealth, and 56 percent of hospitals and health system leaders said they are planning to increase their investment in telehealth and virtual care solutions over the next two years.

  • Awareness of and Concern for Platform Sprawl: Technology and interoperability continue to be a challenge, with platform “sprawl” emerging as a new and pressing obstacle as stakeholders across the ecosystem desire a streamlined and systemized digital infrastructure, including platform consolidation. 77 percent of hospital and health system leaders shared that moving toward a single, secure, and fully integrated virtual care platform was important for their organization. 25 percent of clinicians also said that virtual care systems and current workflows are not integrated with their organizations’ existing systems, with most payers and clinicians using at least three platforms for virtual care and 20 percent of academic medical centers using eight or more digital care platforms.
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