How is the virtual care experience from your patient's perspective?

Due to the pandemic, telehealth has experienced a huge growth over the last few months, and many practices have opted to continue with this option. What does that look like for patients?

As COVID-19 required that practices shut down or limit their appointments, many practices turned to telehealth. Some statistics report that telehealth/telemedicine visits increased from 12,000 per week to 1,000,000 per week. Many practices began utilizing telehealth with little experience as a way to continue to treat their patients, and even now that face-to-face appointments become an option again, many are continuing to offer telemedicine. Additionally, surveys have shown that 60% of patients have said they like the telemedicine option.

Ask For Patient Feedback

Now is a good time to see how your telemedicine option for patient care is being experienced by your patients. Doing this exercise now, especially if you just recently initiated telemedicine into your practice, can give you a baseline with an understanding of what you are doing right and where you can improve.

Consider Conducting a Survey

You can easily accomplish this understanding with a patient satisfaction survey focusing solely on the telemedicine experience. When considering any patient satisfaction survey, be sure to be very clear as to what you want to know, provide an area for detailed responses, make sure the surveys can be anonymous, and most importantly, commit to act. Here are some other questions you may want to consider:

Classic patient satisfaction survey questions may address:

  • Staff interaction, especially if a staff member assisted with the visit
  • Wait time
  • Having enough time with the provider
  • Ease of scheduling
  • Overall satisfaction

Telehealth-focused questions may address:

  • Ease of use
    • Image quality
    • Voice quality
    • Instruction quality – were they easy to understand?
  • Quality of care/communication
    • Did the visit meet your medical care needs?
    • Did the provider explain your care plan to your understanding?
    • Was it easy to talk with the provider through this method?
    • Did the provider come across as professional, caring and polite?
    • What is your overall feeling about this method of communicating?
    • Do you understand what type of care can be provided via telemedicine?
  • Would you be willing to have future telemedicine visits when appropriate?
  • How can we make this method of care better?
  • Would you recommend telemedicine to others?

As you consider keeping telemedicine as part of your practice, you may find these additional articles helpful.

Telehealth: Avoid Making Technology Assumptions

How and When to Get Telemedicine Consent

Things to Consider Before Including Telemedicine In Your Practice

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