The GP Appointment Types Australians Prefer Telehealth For

How do Australians feel about telehealth? We asked patients in our annual  General Practice Patient Survey.

One of the key findings from our survey is that appointment type matters when it comes to telehealth. For instance, the majority of Australians prefer telehealth appointments over in-person visits when it comes to renewing a prescription (76%), getting a referral (69%), and receiving follow-up results (69%).

By contrast, there are some appointments that Australians feel are best conducted in-person. Specifically, most respondents indicated that in-person visits are best when it comes to acute problems (76%), children’s appointments (69%), and mental health-related issues (59%).

Would you prefer telehealth for the following appointment types?

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Seventy-six percent of patients prefer telehealth for renewing a prescription

Telehealth appointments for renewing prescriptions are most popular among those between the ages of 45-59 (82%), followed by those aged 18-29 (77%), and 30-44 (75%). Only 53% of those aged 60+ prefer telehealth for prescription renewals.

Location also plays an important role in patient preferences. For instance, 80% of metro patients prefer telehealth for prescription renewals, compared to just 68% of regional patients and 67% of suburban patients.

Although billing type seems to have a minor impact on preferences, we did find some differences. Mixed billed patients are most likely to prefer telehealth appointments for prescriptions renewals (79%), followed by bulk billed (74%) then private billed (71%).

Lastly, we examined what impact previous telehealth appointment experience played in patients’ comfort level with telehealth prescription renewals. As you might imagine, those who have had a previous telehealth experience were much more likely to prefer telehealth prescription renewals (82%) than those who haven’t (70%). 

Would you prefer telehealth for renewing a prescription?

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Sixty-nine percent of patients prefer telehealth for results follow-ups

Telehealth appointments for results follow-ups are most desirable among those between the ages of 30-44 (77%), followed by 18-29 (73%) and 45-59 (73%). Sixty-plus year olds are the least likely to want to get their results via telehealth appointments with only 54% showing a preference for telehealth.

When it comes to location, 78% of metropolitan patients prefer telehealth for results follow-ups, compared to 67% of suburban patients and 65% of regional patients.

Mixed billed patients are most likely to prefer telehealth appointments for results follow-ups (77%), followed by bulk billed (67%) then private billed (59%).

Unsurprisingly, those who have had a previous telehealth experience are more likely to prefer telehealth for results follow-ups (51%) than those who haven’t (30%).

Would you prefer telehealth for a non-urgent results follow-up?

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Sixty-nine percent of patients prefer telehealth for referrals

All age groups prefer telehealth appointments for referrals, although seniors (60+) express a preference for telehealth (53%) significantly lower than all other demographics, i.e. 18-29 (75%), 44-59 (75%), and 30-44 (74%).

When it comes to location, 73% of metropolitan patients prefer telehealth referrals, compared to 68% of regional patients and 67% of suburban patients. And when it comes to billing type, mixed billed patients are most likely to prefer telehealth appointments for referrals (72%), followed by bulk billed (67%) and private billed (67%).

As with previous findings, those who’ve experienced telehealth appointments before are more likely to prefer telehealth for referrals (77%) than those who haven’t (63%).

Would you prefer telehealth for a receiving a referral?

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Forty-one percent of patients prefer telehealth for mental health appointments

A significant majority of Australians don’t like the thought of conducting mental health appointments via telehealth. That’s especially true with seniors, only 13% of those aged 60+ expressed a preference for telehealth mental health appointments. The next age group least likely to desire telehealth mental health appointments was those aged 45-59 (29%). Younger patients are more comfortable conducting mental health appointments via telehealth with 52% of those aged 18-29 and 60% of those 30-44 indicating a preference for telehealth.

Location also plays a role when it comes to patient preferences on this topic. For instance, 53% of metro patients prefer telehealth for mental health appointments, compared to 42% of regional patients and 34% of suburban patients.

Mixed billed patients are most likely to prefer telehealth appointments for mental health issues (45%), followed by private billed (41%) then bulk billed (37%).

Those who’ve experienced telehealth appointments before are more likely to prefer telehealth for mental health appointments (49%) than those who haven’t (33%).

Would you prefer telehealth for a mental health related appointment?

Age:

Location:

Billing type:

Used telehealth before:

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