2020 Digital Health Most Wired Trends Report Shows Gains Across the Industry

ANN ARBOR, Nov. 16, 2020 – Digital health is advancing across the industry, according to an analysis of 2020 data from the CHIME Digital Health Most Wired survey, with telehealth making strong gains and greater adoption of solutions that support value-based care, population health, patient and clinician engagement, and security. The findings were published this month in the annual Digital Health Most Wired National Trends report, which is free and available online on the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) website.
Key findings include:
  • The usage and adoption of telehealth more than doubled between 2019 and 2020.
  • As healthcare shifts to a consumer-focused model, price transparency is becoming even more critical.
  • Population health management (PHM) activities have risen dramatically, with an average 18 percentage point bump in the use of tools to support PHM strategies.
  • Portals now are commonly accessed by patients, and almost all organizations offer mobile app capabilities.
  • Hospitals and healthcare systems are leveraging EHRs for timely clinician alerts. 
  • The adoption of artificial intelligence is steadily increasing.
  • About one third of organizations have adopted all the components of a comprehensive security program in 2020, up from 24% last year.
“We are seeing progress across the board in the adoption of digital health strategies that improve health and care,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell. “The survey covers multiple categories to assess how effectively and where healthcare organizations are advancing on their digital health journeys. Some categories like telehealth saw significant increases in adoption and usage while others like cybersecurity advanced more modestly. Overall, the trajectory is positive with top performers setting standards that are driving the industry forward.”
Some organizations already had a telehealth foundation in place, which allowed them to quickly scale during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 3 in 10 of Most Wired organizations reported more than 10% of their unique patients used telehealth in 2019. That rate of participation jumped to about 2 in 3 organizations in 2020, with about half of them reporting usage above 25%. Telehealth adoption in most care settings rose by approximately 40 percentage points.
With the shift toward the patient as a consumer, many healthcare organizations are expanding their price transparency capabilities. Nearly two thirds of respondents have adopted technologies to facilitate patient payment estimates and 40% have adopted solutions that estimate cost based on insurance type.
Every measure for PHM made gains in 2020, with advancements in data aggregation, data analysis, care management, administrative and financial reporting, and patient and clinician engagement. More than 90% of organizations provide patients access and secure communications with clinicians through a portal, and 96% of respondents have a mobile app. More than 80% have integrated clinical surveillance systems with their EHR and many have expanded the types of clinical alerts. About 17% of organizations have fully deployed some version of AI and are getting outcomes and 35% of Most Wired participants reported they are in the process of implementing AI.
Cybersecurity showed some improvements, particularly with organizations having a dedicated cybersecurity committee, a dedicated security operations center and a documented risk management program. But only 72% organizations have a designated chief security information officer, a mere 2 percentage point increase from 2019. 
This year’s survey represented 30,091 facilities, with 754 surveys completed by healthcare organizations in 14 countries. In 2020, CHIME added a long-term care survey to the existing domestic, ambulatory and international survey offerings. The trends report is based on aggregated survey data from U.S. participants. To download the 2020 Digital Health
Most Wired National Trends report, go here.
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs) and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 5,000 members in 56 countries plus two U.S. territories and over 150 healthcare IT business partners and professional services firms, CHIME and its three associations provide a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate, exchange best practices, address professional development needs and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit chimecentral.org.
Candace Stuart
Director of Communications and Public Relations, CHIME

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