Study Finds Comparable Satisfaction Rates Between Pandemic Telehealth And In-Person Visits

According to a new study reported in the Patient Experience Journal that examined patient experience surveys, individuals’ satisfaction with telehealth consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic was comparable to the satisfaction they experienced with in-person care. As a result of the telehealth waivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers learned valuable information on the advantages of telehealth for patients looking for main and specialized care. However, maintaining the usage of the care method is contingent on patient satisfaction. Therefore, in order to gauge patient satisfaction with video-based telehealth, researchers performed the study.

In conducting the study, researchers evaluated patients’ experience with telehealth and in-person clinic visits using data from standardized patient experience surveys from the period of July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Approximately 307,000 of the 1.5 million patients who received surveys throughout the research period responded. 262,297 of these participants underwent in-person care, while 44,888 of them took part in a telehealth visit. Responses from people undergoing adult medical specialty treatment exceeded those from patients receiving primary care across the entire population. Patients seeking hematology and oncology services made up the majority of respondents among those obtaining medical specialty treatment. The survey also found that mostost of those who utilized telehealth, or 41.6% of the population, were in the 65 to 79 age bracket. The majority of those being female, White, and English-speaking. Similarly, the majority of individuals who received care in person were 65 to 79 years old, female, White, and English-speaking.

According to the researchers’ analysis of patient evaluations, in-person and telehealth visits throughout the study timeframe did not have significantly different patient satisfaction levels. No differences in patient age groups, sex, color, ethnicity, or language were indicated. Disparities were found in the feedback between sexes. Men reported a slightly greater degree of satisfaction with in-person visits than women. Additionally, patients under the age of 17 reported better experiences with in-person visits, while patients over the age of 80 reported higher satisfaction with telehealth than other age groups. The researchers concluded that telehealth satisfaction was comparable to in-person care.