- Despite growing enthusiasm for telehealth options, no vendors currently are capable of meeting all of healthcare organizations' virtual care needs, a new KLAS Research survey finds.
- KLAS asked healthcare professionals how they have fared with nine different telehealth vendors, including American Well, Epic, InTouch Health, MDLive and SnapMD.
- None of the vendors equally met organization's three main telehealth needs — virtual care clinics, telespecialty consults and on-demand visits. Vendors scoring highest were those with more narrow customer expectations, such as Zipnosis and Vidyo.
The report notes that a "key factor of scalability" is the ability to support multiple visit types. "No vendor meets all needs equally well, but several are reaching for 'all-purpose' status with internal development and/or recent acquisitions," the authors write.
Recent consolidations within the sector, however, could aid the effort to achieve "all-purpose" telehealth vendors, the report says. In April, American Well signed a definitive agreement to acquire acute care telehealth vendor Avizia. In May, InTouch purchased TruClinic, and the following month, Teladoc announced the purchase of worldwide telemedicine provider Advance Medical, enhancing its capacity to meet the needs of U.S. multinational employers.
While a number of vendors support all three services to some degree, none has a large customer base requiring virtual care clinics, telespecialty consults and on-demand visits, according to the report. MDLive and American Well, two of the vendors most often used for multiple visit options, got "generally positive" but still lower than average performance marks.
Although American Well ranks best in platform scalability, some customers cited the company's rapid growth for staffing shortages that slowed implementation and response to service requests, the report says.
EHR integration is also a challenge. While virtual care platforms typically require adding a second EHR to the clinical workflow, "few interviewed VCP customers have full bidirectional transfer in place," according to the report.
While video visits are a big focus of most telehealth platforms, asynchronous options like texting, chat and email are becoming more important, fueled by patients' desire for faster interactions.
KLAS notes the absence of several vendors in the survey. Teladoc, for example, declined to share its client list, hampering efforts to interview organizations about platform performance.