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Consumers Prefer Telehealth Over In-office Visits for Routine Care – And Want Virtualists to Have Access to Their Medical Records

Seventy-nine percent of consumers say it is very important that their regular doctors 
and their telehealth providers can share access to their health records

The popularity of telehealth remains strong – and even the top choice among consumers needing routine medical care, according to a recent survey of individuals who previously had at least one telehealth visit. Regardless of the type of virtual care, nearly all participants of the survey, sponsored by KeyCare, stated it was important that both their regular doctor and their telehealth provider had access to their health records for sharing critical data such as current medications or chronic health conditions – and 79% said this functionality was very important.

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When given a choice between an in-office or a telehealth visit for several types of issues, respondents chose telehealth as their top choice almost half the time. For minor but urgent issues, 41% of respondents chose telehealth, compared to 19% for first-available, and 6% for whatever time worked best in their schedules. Furthermore, for routine management of chronic conditions, 46% of survey participants said telehealth was the preferred option, and almost 43% ranked telehealth as their top choice for mental health services or therapy.

“It certainly makes sense in today’s world that patients want more telehealth options and prefer the idea of receiving virtual care from doctors and care teams who have the ability to view and share their comprehensive health records. However, many health systems do not have the internal resources to meet this increasing patient demand for telehealth services,” said Lyle Berkowitz, MD, CEO of KeyCare, the nation’s only virtual care platform built with Epic. “Health system leaders seeking to expand access to telehealth should make sure they consider these consumer preferences and choose a virtual care partner who can provide both a seamless patient experience and easy data liquidity across a common platform.”

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The survey also found that almost 90% of respondents had a telehealth visit within the last year, and more than 92% said that if a need arises within the next 12 months, they would be somewhat or very likely to utilize telehealth services if offered by their current health system. Forty-six percent of survey participants reported having a telehealth appointment for minor but urgent issues, such as possible COVID, while 30% had telehealth visits for mental health services or therapy, within the last year.

KeyCare is an Epic-based virtual care platform designed to help forward-thinking health systems improve access and quality by expanding their virtual care options for patients. KeyCare offers health systems access to a network of independent virtual care providers working on KeyCare’s Epic-based platform. Health systems can start with nationwide virtual urgent care coverage, and then may add other virtual health services based on their virtual care initiatives.

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