Representative image
Representative image

Virtual video visits by doctors improve patient convenience without sacrificing quality of care

ANI | Updated: Jan 15, 2019 13:09 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Jan 15 (ANI): Virtual video visits, a form of telehealth visit, can successfully replace office visits for many patients without compromising the quality of care and communication.
Virtual video visits are personal video chat communications between a health professional and patient using a computer or tablet via a secure application.
Speaking about the study, lead author Karen Donelan said, "Some of the participants in our study were parents of children who needed multiple frequent visits or older patients for whom travel was difficult to arrange. It did not surprise us that they found virtual visits more convenient, but we were impressed that nearly all perceived the quality of care or communication to be the same or better than at the traditional and familiar office visits."
Following are among the key findings of the study:
* 79 per cent of responding patients who participated in the program felt that finding a convenient time for a follow-up virtual video visit was easier than for a traditional office visit.
* 62 per cent of responding patients reported the quality of virtual video visits was no different from that of office visits, and 21 per cent thought virtual visits' overall quality was better.
* 59 per cent of health professionals providing virtual video visits agreed that, for the patients selected for these visits, virtual visit quality was similar to that of office visits; one third thought office visit quality was better.
* Patients and health professionals differed on their perceptions of the "personal connection" they felt in these visits: 46 per cent of clinicians said they thought office visits were better, compared to 33 per cent of patients.
* 68 per cent of patients rated virtual video visits at 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale, and patients who rated the visits lower were generally concerned about technical issues they experienced during their first use of the system. Those issues were usually resolved at the time of the visits with technical assistance
Clinicians reported that virtual video visits are superior to office visits for timely scheduling of patient appointments (70.5 per cent) and for visit efficiency (52.5 per cent). However, they did caution that these visits are not appropriate for all patients in all situations. (ANI)