What You Should Know:
– Google Cloud revealed new research unveiling the impact of COVID-19 on reshaping technology’s role in healthcare. This research is the second phase of research that Google Cloud published in July, showcasing how critical data interoperability is in improving patient outcomes. The research reveals
healthcare organizations accelerated technological upgrades over the course of the pandemic.
– After a year shaped primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic, use of telehealth saw substantial YOY growth, jumping nearly threefold from 32% in February 2020 to 90% this year. Forty-five percent of physicians say the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of their organization’s adoption of technology. In fact, more than 3 in 5 physicians (62%) say the pandemic has forced their healthcare organization to make technology upgrades that normally would have taken years.
Other key findings of the research include:
– The majority of physicians don’t view the healthcare industry as a leader when it comes to digital adoption. More than half of physicians describe the healthcare industry as lagging behind the gaming (64%), telecommunications (56%), and financial services industries (53%). However, the healthcare industry is not seen to be trailing as much as it was last year behind retail (54% in 2020; 44% in 2021); hospitality and travel (53% in 2020; 43% in 2021); and the public sector (39% in 2020; 26% in 2021).
– The majority of physicians say increased data interoperability will cut the time to diagnosis for patients significantly (86%) and will ultimately help improve patient outcomes (95%.) In addition to better patient experiences and outcomes, more than half of physicians (54%) believe increased access to data via technology has had a positive impact on their healthcare organization overall.
– A majority believe that technology can alleviate the likelihood of physician “burn-out” (57%) and that -efficient tools help decrease friction and stress (84%). And, as a result, 6 in 10 physicians say access to better technology and clinical data systems would allow them to have better work/life balance (60%) and that better access to/more complete patient data would reduce administrative burdens (61%). It is therefore not surprising that nearly 9 in 10 physicians (89%) say they are increasingly looking for ways to bring together all patient data into a single place for a more complete view of health.
– Most physicians (74%) say they have at least heard of the new DHHS rules (launched in 2019) to improve the interoperability of electronic health information. This is a clear rise from 2020 (64%), but deeper knowledge is fairly low. Only 30% of physicians say they are somewhat or very familiar with the new rules (though, again, this is a rise from 2020, when only 18% said they were very/somewhat familiar). Similar to in 2020, among those who have heard of the new rules, nearly half are in favor (48% in 2021; 45% in 2020) but a similar proportion remain unsure (46% in 2021; 50% in 2020). And like in 2020, by far the top potential benefit of the rules is thought to be forcing EHRs to be more interoperable with other systems (70%).
The 2021 survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Google Cloud from June 9 – 29, 2021 among 303 physicians who specialize in Family Practice, General Practice, or Internal Medicine, who treat patients, and are duly licensed in the state they practice.