American Telemedicine Association survey data shows that 98% of respondents believe telehealth services create a competitive advantage.
Investments in telehealth are in the near-future for most of the respondents to the 2017 Telemedicine Executive Leadership Survey. The survey from the American Telemedicine Association is based on data from 171 respondents in executive leadership positions representing telehealth service providers, healthcare practices, and hospital systems.
It found that 83% of respondents said they are likely or very likely to invest in telehealth this year, compared to just 1% of respondents who said they were not likely at all to do so.
In addition, 88% of respondents plan to invest in technology related to telehealth this year.
The survey also found that the clear majority of respondents think telehealth gives organizations a competitive edge.
"This executive leadership survey confirms undeniably today's leaders view telemedicine as a major driver in transforming healthcare," Jonathan Linkous, CEO, American Telemedicine Association, said in a statement.
"It comes as no surprise that 98% of survey respondents believe telehealth services create a competitive advantage, and I anticipate tremendous growth in the market as we continue to move toward more patient-centered solutions."
The survey also queried respondents about their thoughts on the potential drivers and roadblocks to telehealth adoption over the next three years.
Among the most significant barriers that respondents selected were inadequate coverage and payments (70.66% of respondents) and licensure/privileges (52.69% of respondents). Resistance to change, lack of ROI/quality evidence, and provider recruitment followed among lesser percentages of respondents.
Increasing consumer demand will be the most significant driver of telehealth adoption, according to 47.9% of respondents. Respondents also believe that other factors will drive growth, including a shift to value-based reimbursement (25.75% of respondents) and reduced cost of delivery (11.38%).
Survey respondents were also asked "what advancements are you most excited about in the telehealth industry this year," and more than two-thirds named patient-centered healthcare. Other top areas of excitement were EHR interoperability and online consumer-driven services.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.