Three Common Obstacles to Successful Telehealth Adoption

Jan 27, 2022 | Dialer Enterprise

Think back to January 2019. In retrospect, developments in telehealth marched at an unsurprising pace. Healthcare systems and providers were getting acquainted with and implementing digital solutions like telehealth. Incrementally, more and more patients began realizing the benefits. Then, one year later, COVID-19 hit. And nobody could have foreseen the ensuing ubiquity of telehealth. The number of Americans who report having participated in at least one telehealth visit since the pandemic began has increased by 57%

Telehealth: it’s expected

Not incorporating telehealth into your care model is no longer an option, it’s table stakes. “Health systems that do not fully embrace telehealth risk losing out in what’s becoming an increasingly competitive market to acquire and retain patients,” says Dr. Amit Phull, Doximity SVP of Strategy and Emergency Medicine Physician at Northwestern Medicine, “Offering a virtual care option should be a key component of every health system’s long-term strategy.”

In a short period of time, the most prevalent challenges emerged

In the early days of telehealth, with so many unknowns and few benchmarks, the challenges to implementing telehealth were daunting and hard to wrap your head around, especially for legacy healthcare enterprises. Now, as telehealth becomes more commonplace and woven into traditional healthcare delivery systems, we have a much clearer sense (after only two years) of the most common obstacles to adopting a long-term telehealth strategy. 

Obstacle #1: a poor user experience leads to low adoption rates

User adoption and experience among clinicians and patients is the first obstacle for health systems adopting telehealth. One of the most challenging aspects of deploying new software across a health system is getting physician buy-in and adoption of new tools. At the same time, the smoothest path to user adoption and a positive experience for patients is making the tool as intuitive and easy to use as possible.

Obstacle #2: lack of EHR integration and clinical workflows

Clinicians, and their administrators, resist adding layers to providing care to patients. Platforms that don’t seamlessly integrate with Electronic Health Records (EHR) are the second obstacle. 

Obstacle #3: insufficient security and compliance

While regulators (thankfully) passed the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration to enable clinicians to more freely utilize telehealth solutions, even FaceTime, these options will soon be a thing of the past. This leads to the second obstacle. Health systems will need to move their providers onto platforms with robust security measures that adhere to HIPAA and HITECH regulations. 

Overcoming the obstacles

Fortunately, Doximity has embraced key learnings resulting from the accelerated adoption of telehealth and is the solution to these three obstacles:

  • More than 90% of U.S. hospitals have clinicians who already use and love the platform, which means that users will not have to go through the process of learning a new tool from scratch.There are no downloads, no logins; just a web link, for patients.  

  • Doximity Dialer supports clinicians’ workflows. Its integration with EHRs meaningfully improve clinicians’ productivity by reducing the need to switch between multiple applications throughout the day.  
  • When selecting a telehealth platform, security and compliance are critical. Doximity was built from the ground up to support clinician privacy and health systems’ compliance with HIPAA.

Healthcare organizations that consider and address these obstacles before they embark on a telehealth solution will be well-positioned to adapt to what continues to be the changing world of healthcare.

Read more about the three obstacles here.