Most patients satisfied after video-based telemedicine adopted with ongoing clinical care

Patients tend to like video telehealth visits with their doctors, according to researchers from Kaiser Permanente, who wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine about recent survey results. 

A whopping 93 percent of surveyed patients were satisfied with their doctor visit after using a video telehealth platform. Researchers argued video-based telemedicine can increase patient access to care but there’s been little evidence to support implementing it into ongoing clinical care.

The team shared its results from a study that analyzed the adoption of a novel, video-based telemedicine system with clinical care and how it impacted patients.

The study looked at 210,383 scheduled video visits with 152,809 patients between 2015 and 2017. Researchers then surveyed 1,274 of the patients about their visits.

The survey offers a glimpse into the early reads of telemedicine, which is still in the early phases of adoption, and underscore that real-time video telemedicine visits should be better integrated with clinical care. Video visits were only a subset of total visits with patients, with more than 60 percent of clinicians using them with less than 5 percent of patients, according to the study. Fortunately, for early adopters, video visits seemed to extend the physician-patient relationship.

The findings revealed 93 percent of patients surveyed said the video visit met their needs. 

However, just 66 percent of scheduled visits were successfully connected. Among those that did not connect with their doctors, most patients said they either changed their mind or spoke with their doctor through another method. Researchers agreed more information around missed connections is needed. 

“Further research is needed to examine continued adoption over time,” the letter said. “Still, together with positive patient-reported experiences, our findings show the feasibility and growing adoption of video visits integrated with ongoing clinical care.”