- Providers have overwhelmingly turned to virtual care and telehealth platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic to see patients, but most reported frantic efforts to adopt the technology with little time to consider a long-term strategy, according to a recent Klas Research study.
- They commonly selected tools like Doxy.me and Zoom because those could be implemented quickly, according to the report. Notable, however, is the high number of vendors that providers have tried. The 174 respondents who reported heavily using virtual care mentioned 43 different vendors.
- Beyond telehealth, providers also reported heavy reliance on AI/analytics vendors. But that field is wide and shallow, Klas found. Tableau was most mentioned, followed by Cerner, Epic, Microsoft and Qlik mentioned equally.
Much like remote work, telehealth adoption has sped up rapidly out of necessity. Stay-at-home orders and ongoing fears about visiting medical settings made it the only choice for some providers and patients.
And while it remains to be seen whether Medicare reimbursement will continue for virtual visits beyond the public health emergency, providers have spent heavily on the technology and plan to invest even more.
Klas surveyed 192 healthcare leaders in April and May for the report, and also looked at responses from 1,281 healthcare professionals who completed its standard vendor performance survey during the same months.
A little more than 80% of providers reported significant budget cuts in their organizations, but 74% of that group said they will invest more in technology moving forward.
Most mentioned more investments in telehealth and virtual care services, but also in mobilizing their workforce, though they don't know which vendors they want to partner with yet.
Respondents mentioned 35 different vendors for both services, most often mentioning Microsoft.
"Healthcare organizations recognize the power of the Teams solution to enable remote work," the report said. Epic and Zoom were the second most mentioned vendors they'd be likely to partner with.
Providers also listed which services aren't working for them.
They reported some efforts by Agfa HealthCare that helped, but a few say several concerns were not addressed quickly enough.
Experiences with Allscripts services were mixed. Some said the vendor made strong, proactive efforts to help, while others said Allscripts "appeared insensitive by trying to sell more, and still others say they received almost no communication from Allscripts regarding COVID-19."
According to the report, eClinicalWorks "is not known for good, proactive support, and for many customers, this trend has continued through the crisis."