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October 21, 2021

Debunking 5 misconceptions of asynchronous telehealth

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It’s common to have misconceptions around new technologies—especially in healthcare—and how implementation could affect physician workflow, care quality, patient retention, and more. As asynchronous technology continues to grow in popularity, it’s critical to address how telehealth platforms like these can add to an organization’s digital care delivery strategy—while also minding common questions and concerns.

We compiled and debunked the top five misconceptions of asynchronous telehealth.

Misconception #1: Asynchronous telehealth doesn’t embed care quality.

Fact: According to Bright.md’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Edward Abraham, clinicians have concerns over asynchronous technology and its ability to accurately diagnose patients and offer a quality care experience. However, it’s important to note that with solutions like Bright.md, there are safety nets in place and workflows that allow clinicians to approve and/or change the platform’s suggested diagnosis. “This is an adjunct to care; it’s not a substitute for care at all,” he said. “There are checkpoints and quality control.”

Additionally, Bright.md is the only asynchronous telehealth platform that integrates clinical content, ensuring a quality experience for both provider and patient. Content is evidence-based and updated regularly based on the latest clinical guidelines, and the content is evaluated and maintained by a team of physicians, writers and editors. A Lead Clinician at one health system shared that he reviewed all of Bright.md’s content in detail and was “extremely impressed”, sharing that it would “take thousands of hours of clinician time to even attempt”.

Misconception #2: Physicians don’t control treatment or decisions.

Fact: With today’s level of physician burnout at an all-time high, clinicians can and should consider using technology to help lift administrative burdens. According to Dr. Abraham, though, clinicians are often change resistant. “There are a lot of health systems with physicians not wanting to give up control, even though they don’t need to be doing everything,” he said.

However, Bright.md’s telehealth platform increases the capacity of existing clinical teams while eliminating 90 percent of clinicians’ administrative work. The platform does this by automating clinical intake and pre-visit interviews, so instead of losing control, physicians are empowered to spend more time with complex patients. Plus, Bright.md acts as decision support so a provider is always the one ultimately deciding on diagnosis and treatment for any patient who uses the asynchronous platform.

Misconception #3: Asynchronous telehealth visits won’t be reimbursed.

Fact: Telehealth reimbursement is a concern among many, and rightfully so. Payment parity requires healthcare providers to be reimbursed the same amount for a telehealth visit versus in-person, and during the pandemic, many states implemented temporary payment parity. As of August 2021, many states are considering the permanent implementation of payment parity to include asynchronous telehealth, with 18 states requiring it currently. Five states have payment parity in place with caveats, while 27 states currently have no payment parity.

Misconception #4: Patients struggle with or won’t use telemedicine solutions.

Fact: As hospital systems across the U.S. continue to struggle with substantial loss in revenue in 2021, patient attraction and retention is critical, and in turn, concerns around patient uptake of technology are high. With asynchronous platforms like Bright.md, patient and provider experience is at the center of everything we do. The platform is developed using ongoing feedback and conversation from customers, while our product roadmap is driven by customer challenges and user testing. Customers turn to Bright.md as a trusted thought partner on innovation, which leads to impressive numbers around patient satisfaction and loyalty—Bright.md has a 96 percent patient satisfaction rate, while 90 percent of patients who have used the Bright.md platform say they want to again.

Misconception #5: Asynchronous virtual care isn’t thorough.

Fact: As the industry continues to better understand asynchronous technologies and their benefits, it’s important to recognize what asynchronous technology is not—chatbots and symptom checkers are tools that are not truly asynchronous platforms because there is no provider. Unlike other AI-symptom and triage platforms that struggle to prove value throughout the entire patient/provider experience, Bright.md combines proprietary content with a streamlined experience that still leaves ultimate control—diagnosis and treatment—with the provider.

The platform uses proprietary clinical content to help automate and streamline clinical workflows, pre-visit interviews, and patient intake, ahead of any in-person or virtual appointment. The platform helps providers with 130+ diagnoses, representing conditions that make up more than 50 percent of primary and urgent care visits.

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