Mental and behavioral health care providers gave high marks to their experiences with telehealth in a survey conducted on various aspects of telehealth use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Results of the Telehealth Impact Physician Survey were published by the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, which comprises more than 1000 health care organizations, technology firms, and nonprofit agencies. The survey was conducted in July and August and included responses from 1594 providers; 85% were physicians and 13% were nurse practitioners, psychologists, physician assistants, or social workers.
Among mental and behavioral health clinicians, 91% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “Telehealth enables me to deliver quality care for mental/behavioral health.” Only 5% disagreed.
More than 70% of mental and behavioral health clinicians agreed or strongly agreed that telehealth has improved the health of their patients, 83% said it has improved patients’ safety, and 85% said it has improved timeliness of care.
Quiz: Post-Pandemic Use of Mental Telehealth
Among the clinicians, 94% said they would like to continue offering telehealth after the COVID-19 pandemic and 74% said they were personally motivated to increase the use of telehealth in their practice. But only 57% felt their organizational leadership is motivated to increase telehealth use in their practice, 62% felt continuing telehealth is financially viable, and 56% said telehealth has improved the financial health of their practice.
Overall, clinicians of all specialties reported that telehealth has improved the health of their patients (60%), that they are motivated to increase telehealth use in their practices (68%) and that telehealth has improved their satisfaction with their work (55%).
“The majority of physicians and other qualified healthcare professionals are motivated to increase telehealth usage in their practice,” the researchers wrote. “Based on these findings we expect telehealth to become an important component of care delivery for years to come.”