Majority of Respondents say Telehealth Has Improved Patient Care; 89 Percent Plan on Investing in Marketing Initiatives for New Programs

Boston Digital, a leading digital marketing agency, with a client base including the world’s top pharmaceutical and healthcare brands, today announced results of a new survey, “The Pandemic’s Impact on Digital Usage in Healthcare.” The survey canvassed 500 healthcare executives to determine the extent to which healthcare industries have switched to digital solutions, the barriers they’ve faced and their plans for expanding digital healthcare in the future. The results overwhelmingly indicate the switch to telehealth has been a largely positive one and that most plan greater investment to expand telehealth capabilities.  Click here to access the full report

According to the survey, healthcare executives espouse the positive outlook of telehealth and its potential, even as they indicate that a patient's ability to use new technology is still the biggest barrier to its success. Increasing patient satisfaction, wellbeing and the long-term success of these initiatives requires a seamless UX experience and overall investments in digital marketing to communicate changes to the patient community.

“There has been much speculation about how patients would respond once they had the opportunity to schedule in-person appointments again,” said Boston Digital President, Peter Prodromou.  “Our survey indicates the habits and preferences that formed around telehealth during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic are, in large part, here to stay.  The implications for healthcare providers are profound as they rethink business plans to accommodate new expectations, including developing more robust digital presences for effective engagement.  It will be very interesting to see how these trends impact the historic long-term growth of healthcare spending and costs, as well as general wellness.”

 Telehealth changes are here to stay. Largely executives agreed that the changes implemented as a result of the pandemic were positive for patient care, would be implemented long-term and that expanding telehealth is a top priority.

  • 57% say it has improved patient care
  • 58% of respondents say that 40% or more of the changes are here to stay
  • 63% say telehealth initiatives were important or very important to their current organizations
  • 55% have already created new portals or micro-sites as a result of COVID-19

The key to telehealth success lies in providing a seamless user experience. The biggest barrier to telehealth is still the patient’s ability to use new technology, despite the positive benefits it has brought to patient care and overall satisfaction. Providing a seamless user experience will prove to be the decider in making telehealth successful and beneficial.

  • 38% say the biggest barrier to success was the patient's ability to use new technologies; this was the #1 answer compared with only 8% mentioning costs and 5% claiming regulations 
  • 72% say having a mobile-friendly website was important or very important
  • 76% say a good digital experience is important or very important for overall patient satisfaction

Healthcare companies also plan to expand digital marketing. As healthcare companies make the switch to digital care solutions, they will need the ability to communicate the changes to patients, requiring different digital marketing channels.

  • 89% plan to invest in marketing next year
  • 50% plan to invest in social media marketing, 45% in email marketing and 26% in paid media 
  • Healthcare companies use a variety of digital tactics to communicate with their patients, 35% communicate new policies through video and 49% use social media

To see more results and implications from Boston Digital’s survey, read this whitepaper.

Our survey results have received press coverage in several healthcare and marketing outlets, including Patient Engagement HIT, The Healthcare Standard, France Surgery, SmartBrief & Healthcare IT News. Take a look at the articles covering these important results:

Boston Digtal

Boston Digital has been delivering transformative digital marketing for 20 years. We believe digital excellence starts with a world-class website and catches fire with brilliant digital marketing services. Boston Digital helps clients across the US in industries from consumer products and life sciences to higher education, financial services and high tech, find their “Digital Mojo”, connect their brand to the people who need it most, and boost their competitive edge.