BOSTON, Mass.––In a new, groundbreaking study on telemedicine use during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Press Ganey today released its special report, The Rapid Transition to Telemedicine: Insights and Early Trends. Using advanced analytics and proprietary machine learning, analyses of consumer data received by Press Ganey through April indicate that virtual visits can achieve similar ratings for patient experience as in-person visits, with some specific differences in methods of care delivery. The analyses also indicate that clinicians scored highest on controllable behaviors such as communication and interpersonal interactions, and that age and gender influence consumers’ ratings for certain performance measures. The report provides immediately actionable recommendations for providers to optimize the virtual patient experience as telemedicine becomes an essential care delivery mode both now and for the foreseeable future.
“As caregivers quickly adapt to maintain strong patient connections during this crisis, we are proud to share insights from the most extensive consumer report focused on telemedicine’s impact on our industry,” said Patrick T. Ryan, Chairman and CEO, Press Ganey. “The rapid adoption of telehealth has enabled caregivers to meet the needs of patients with the levels of attentiveness, expertise, and empathy provided during an in-office visit. If caregivers actively adapt their processes and behaviors to the telemedicine environment, they can effectively build the unbreakable bonds of trust that are so critical to patient-centered care.”
Select key insights from the analyses of consumer responses include the following.
- Telemedicine use has soared in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and if telemedicine is delivered with an understanding of the unique elements of virtual care, patient experience ratings can achieve comparable results to in-person visits.
- Top drivers for recommending the care provider in a virtual visit are similar to those of in-person visits and are within the care provider’s control, including demonstrating empathy, involving patients in decision-making, and communicating effectively.
- Patients’ likelihood of recommending the video visit is driven more strongly by process considerations, such as care coordination around the virtual visit and technology issues.
- Top challenges for telemedicine visits include technology and process measures that impact the physician–patient connection and impede consistent and reliable communication.
- Younger patients appear more critical of care provider measures than older patients, while the opposite trend has emerged with process items, where younger patients rate technology items more highly than older patients, potentially reflecting a higher level of comfort.
“These data show how telemedicine, when delivered effectively, can provide a similar experience to in-person visits with some identifiable differences,” said Thomas H. Lee, Chief Medical Officer, Press Ganey. “As a practicing physician, I have seen my own virtual patient visits rise from 0% to 90% over the course of a single week in March. I continue to refine my approach with every visit, and the insights from this report will help me and all caregivers accelerate our abilities to provide better virtual care for patients.”
A copy of the white paper, The Rapid Transition to Telemedicine: Insights and Early Trends, is available for download, as is the companion piece, Four Essentials of Effective Telemedicine.
About Press Ganey
Press Ganey pioneered the health care performance improvement movement 35 years ago. Today Press Ganey offers an integrated suite of solutions that enable enterprise transformation across the patient journey. Delivered through a cutting-edge digital platform built on a foundation of data security, Press Ganey solutions address safety, clinical excellence, patient experience, and workforce engagement. The company works with more than 41,000 health care facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality, and experience of care.