The Definitive Guide to Asynchronous Telemedicine

Explore why asynchronous telemedicine is key to creating efficiency while solving healthcare’s biggest challenges.

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When we built this guide, we set out to create a single comprehensive resource for everything healthcare professionals will ever need to know about asynchronous telemedicine. It’s 29 pages of pure data, research, and the largest case study ever conducted on asynchronous telehealth.

On this page, you’ll find an in-depth review of the guide. You can also use the buttons below to navigate to specific sections.

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What is Asynchronous Telehealth?

When you hear the word telehealth, what pops into your mind? Most people may imagine a video visit, which is a synchronous form of telehealth – meaning patients and providers are interacting in a live, real-time environment. However, many people don’t realize that asynchronous telemedicine is actually the original telemedicine.

Asynchronous telemedicine is defined as care delivery that is not simultaneous or concurrent in time. It is used synonymously with the term “store-and-forward.” “Tele Medicus” or “healing from a distance” first occurred in the 1900s when Dr. William Einthoven used a string galvanometer to monitor a hospitalized patient’s electrical cardiac signals in a lab that was more than a mile away. When Dr. Einthoven monitored a printout of electric cardiac signals to diagnose and treat patients, he pioneered asynchronous telehealth.

What is asynchronous telehealth?
asynchronous care efficiency and cost

Asynchronous telemedicine is the mode of delivery that can realize the triple-aim of telehealth:
  • Improving the individual experience of care
  • Improving access and the health of populations
  • Reducing the per capita cost of care 

This is not to say that synchronous telemedicine does not have its place; however, the benefits will never be realized by transitioning an in-person visit to a video visit. Embracing hybrid care and asynchronous telehealth is critical to solving healthcare’s greatest challenges and improving patient satisfaction, access, efficiency, and cost.

Asynchronous telemedicine is the mode of delivery that can realize the triple-aim of telehealth:
  • Improving the individual experience of care
  • Improving access and the health of populations
  • Reducing the per capita cost of care 

This is not to say that synchronous telemedicine does not have its place; however, the benefits will never be realized by transitioning an in-person visit to a video visit. Embracing hybrid care and asynchronous telehealth is critical to solving healthcare’s greatest challenges and improving patient satisfaction, access, efficiency, and cost.

asynchronous care efficiency and cost

How Does Asynchronous Telemedicine Work?


There are three common variations of asynchronous care:

intelligent adaptive interviews
Intelligent adaptive interviews
remote patient monitoring
Remote patient monitoring
virtual consultations
Consultations including radiology

All three involve collecting information, sending it to a provider, and a provider later reviewing the collected data or images to diagnose and treat a patient. Uniquely, intelligent adaptive interviews can improve remote patient monitoring and consultations by streamlining the collection of patient data and reducing clinical burden.

Intelligent adaptive interviews involve using clinical protocols that mimic the questions that a provider might ask a patient or another provider during a consultation. After each response, the subsequent questions adjust to collect more information on symptoms and aid in diagnosis. The net result:

asynchronous data gathering
A standardized approach to data gathering that is more thorough than a conversation
asynchronous provider documentation
Standardized documentation that's easier for a clinician to read
asynchronous telemedicine time savings
Time savings by reducing the need for follow-up questions
clinician documentation automation
A reduction in documentation due to the ability to "stitch together" soap notes and care plans in just a few clicks
synchronous telemedicine chatbot

Asynchronous Telemedicine Doesn’t Mean “Chatbot”


Think of TurboTax. This is smart, adaptive technology built on best practice guidelines. In the case of Zipnosis, it is also vetted and reviewed by our Clinical Quality Advisory Council made up of 15 healthcare leaders from health systems across the country. The biggest difference from TurboTax is that at the end of the process, a real provider in your local health system reviews your responses and makes the ultimate clinical decisions.

Going to the doctor should be less painful than paying your taxes. Zipnosis beats TurboTax’s consumer NPS score by 21 points!

Virtual Care NPS

Asynchronous Telemedicine Doesn’t Mean “Chatbot”


Think of TurboTax. This is smart, adaptive technology built on best practice guidelines. In the case of Zipnosis, it is also vetted and reviewed by our Clinical Quality Advisory Council made up of 15 healthcare leaders from health systems across the country. The biggest difference from TurboTax is that at the end of the process, a real provider in your local health system reviews your responses and makes the ultimate clinical decisions.

Going to the doctor should be less painful than paying your taxes. Zipnosis beats TurboTax’s consumer NPS score by 21 points!

Virtual Care NPS
synchronous telemedicine chatbot

What is “Intelligent” Asynchronous Telemedicine?

While asynchronous telehealth largely refers to the collection of information at a different time than the provider reviews it, variations in how information is collected can have dramatic effects on how impactful asynchronous telemedicine can be. 

 

adaptive asynchronous telemedicine

ADAPTIVE:

Adaptive interviews use clinical content and conditional logic to adapt the information collected throughout the interview to suggest a diagnosis or prescription to the provider. This mimics the same process a provider goes through when treating a patient in-clinic but removes or reduces the clinical burden of manually collecting the data and inputting it into the EMR. Zipnosis’ asynchronous telemedicine modality uses intelligent adaptive interviews. 

 

 

STATIC:

Static interviews are no different than any standard form you find on the internet or even on paper. The questions do not change based on the patients’ responses, and use cases are heavily limited given this restriction. While they can provide some time savings for use in patient intake forms, by design they are not nearly as effective as adaptive interviews.

ADAPTIVE:

Adaptive interviews use clinical content and conditional logic to adapt the information collected throughout the interview to suggest a diagnosis or prescription to the provider. This mimics the same process a provider goes through when treating a patient in-clinic but removes or reduces the clinical burden of manually collecting the data and inputting it into the EMR. Zipnosis’ asynchronous telemedicine modality uses intelligent adaptive interviews.

adaptive asynchronous telemedicine

STATIC:

Static interviews are no different than any standard form you find on the internet or even on paper. The questions do not change based on the patients’ responses, and use cases are heavily limited given this restriction. While they can provide some time savings for use in patient intake forms, by design they are not nearly as effective as adaptive interviews.

asynchronous virtual care

Asynchronous Telehealth & Efficiency

The Zipnosis asynchronous telemedicine platform enables providers to use the data to appropriately handle a patient’s individual case by:
   1.  Treating completely asynchronously
   2.  Stepping up to other modes of care to gather more information (phone, chat, or video)
   3.  Or triaging and routing a patient to the appropriate point of care 

With this approach, patients experience increased convenience, faster treatment, and a higher quality of care. It also decreases provider work time dramatically — to 89 seconds for low acuity cases — and leverages more time-intensive modes of care only when appropriate. Asynchronous care is undoubtedly a powerful arrow in the quiver of modern care delivery. The remainder of this guide will dive into the ways async can solve some of the traditional challenges in healthcare along with some newer issues that developed through the pandemic. 

Fun Fact: Less than 5% of Zipnosis asynchronous visits are stepped up to a phone, video, or chat visit.

Digital Front Door telehealth efficiency

The Power of Asynchronous Telemedicine

The Zipnosis asynchronous telehealth platform uses best practice clinical guidelines to create a fast and enjoyable experience for patients while reducing clinical burden and increasing provider efficiency. Asynchronous telemedicine lets providers do what they do best: provide care.

%

automation of administration work

second average clinical work time

%

adherence to clinical guidelines

%

automation of administration work

second average clinical work time

%

adherence to clinical guidelines

Ready to learn more about asynchronous telehealth? Download the full Asynchronous Care Guide today.
asynchronous telemedicine efficiency and cost

Asynchronous Telehealth Reduces Costs for Patients

When a patient uses the Zipnosis asynchronous telemedicine platform, it only takes an average of 6:29 minutes for a diagnoses and costs them about $25. That’s a quarter of the price of a standard office visit. 

Of those patients, 4.5% need to be stepped up to a video or phone visit. An escalated visit requires 280 seconds of provider work time and costs $45, which is still four times more efficient for providers and more than half the price of an in-person visit for patients. 

Interested in learning more? Check out our Cost & Efficiency section to dive deeper.

Asynchronous Telehealth Reduces Costs for Patients

When a patient uses the Zipnosis asynchronous telemedicine platform, it only takes an average of 6:29 minutes for a diagnoses and costs them about $25. That’s a quarter of the price of a standard office visit. 

Of those patients, 4.5% need to be stepped up to a video or phone visit. An escalated visit requires 280 seconds of provider work time and costs $45, which is still four times more efficient for providers and more than half the price of an in-person visit for patients. 

Interested in learning more? Check out our Cost & Efficiency section to dive deeper.

asynchronous telemedicine efficiency and cost

Asynchronous Telemedicine Drives Revenue & Patient Acquisition

We analyzed the efficacy of virtual care as a patient acquisition vehicle for a leading health system customer of Zipnosis and Carrot Health. We used health system-collected data to track care received by a cohort of 974 virtual care users new to the health system, with new patients defined by the health system as those not having received care within the previous 24 months. 

Of the 974 virtual care users who started a virtual visit, 242 had at least one in-person visit within 12 months of their virtual encounter, producing a conversion rate of 24.8%. 

Financial Impact on Health System:  

On average, the virtual care users who converted to health system patients had three subsequent in-person visits, generating $2,927 of additional revenue, within 12 months of their online encounter. In total, that translated to more than $708,000 in incremental annualized revenue. 

That’s more revenue than you’d expect from a care solution focused on more affordable, efficient care.  

As a rule, virtual care users — particularly those who gravitate to asynchronous telehealth — tend to be younger, healthier patients. Because these patients are more likely to convert to long-term health system patients, offering async continues to drive revenue as patients age, bringing greater value to health systems well into the future.

Convenience pays off. Learn more about using asynchronous telemedicine to attract patients and keep them coming back.

average first year revenue per new patient

long-term revenue potential per patient

Asynchronous Telemedicine Creates Health Equity


ACCESS FOR RURAL, DISADVANTAGED, AND NON-ENGLISH-SPEAKING POPULATIONS.

Virtual care is the path to expanding access for rural and disparate populations, but serving these groups requires modalities that work within their limitations. The conversation has shifted from urban versus rural access and utilization to acknowledging all underserved populations as a whole, regardless of their geographic limitations.

Today, there are populations in both rural and urban areas that don’t have access to the tools needed to engage in virtual care.

We built this guide for you.

When we built this guide, we set out to create a single comprehensive resource for everything healthcare professionals will ever need to know about asynchronous telemedicine. It’s 29 pages of pure data, research, and the largest case study ever conducted on async.

On this page, you’ll find an in-depth review of the guide. You can also use the buttons below to navigate to specific sections.

Prefer the hard copy?

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