The results of four phases of telehealth research during the COVID-19 pandemic are clear. Patients, providers, and administrators expressed that telehealth increased access to care and saw benefits beyond expanding access during the pandemic.
The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and REACH Healthcare Foundation commissioned research on telehealth in Kansas to understand its use by consumers and providers, and to gain their perspectives on areas for improvement. The research included a statewide survey of providers, a statewide voter poll, health provider interviews and consumer focus groups.
Key takeaways include:
- While providers were attuned to access and continuity of care, patients were attuned to benefits like convenience, savings of time and money, and the importance of choice between telehealth and in-person services.
- Overall, patients and providers were satisfied with telehealth, though some reported specific bad experiences. Providers and patients agreed not all health services were suitable for telehealth and believed they knew when it was time for an in-person visit.
- Patient access to devices and internet connectivity was generally good; the same was true for providers. Patients, particularly those who participated in the consumer poll, wanted rural broadband access to be increased to improve access to telehealth and improve health.
All telehealth materials can be found on our Kansas Telehealth page.
- Consumer focus group report and research brief.
- Provider interview full report and research brief
- Statewide voter poll report and by the numbers
- Fall 2020 provider survey report and policy brief
- Kansas Hospital Association podcast episode: Telehealth’s Current and Future Role in Patient Care
- Forward Focus podcast episode: What we advocate for: Telehealth and digital equity