Satisfaction of hem/onc patients with video visits during the COVID-19 pandemic at a tertiary care center in Michigan
Abu Rous F, Singh SRK, Li P, Elgamal M, Abunafeesa H, Chacko R, Vuyyala S, Alkhatib Y, and Kuriakose P. Satisfaction of hem/onc patients with video visits during the COVID-19 pandemic at a tertiary care center in Michigan. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2021; 39(28):4.
J Clin Oncol
Background: In early 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 pandemic a public health emergency. Consequently, medical institutions minimized health care services to facilitate social distancing and telemedicine became the forefront of patient-provider interaction. Herein, we present the results of our study that explored patient satisfaction with video visits during the pandemic at a tertiary care center.
Methods: A 12-question survey (table) was emailed following a video visit with a Hem/Onc provider carried out between February and December 2020, questions were answered anonymously. The survey also collected patient demographics. The survey evaluated 5 aspects of telemedicine using a five-point graded scale.
Results: A total of 1107 patients responded. Median age was 65 years (25-97) with 51.5% over 65, 64% were females and 36% males. Based on zip codes of primary residence and 2015-2019 US Census data, a significant proportion lived in inner-city Detroit, 77.3% were Caucasians, and 15.2% African Americans. Median household income was 66.8K (Michigan’s median is 57K). Regarding access: ease of scheduling appointments, ease of contacting the office and ability to schedule desired appointments, were respectively given positive responses (good, very good, or fair) by 97.61%, 97.32%, and 98.4%. Regarding CP: ability to explain problem, show concern for worries, include patients in decisions, and discussion of treatment plan, were respectively given positive responses by 99.09%, 99.26%, 98.9%, 99.35%. Regarding telemedicine technology: ease of talking to CP, quality of video, and audio connections, were respectively given positive responses by 94.27%, 90.77%, and 91.42%. For the overall visit assessment, 98.58% gave a positive response for the video staff performance. Regarding their comfort level to return to clinic: 78.75% were comfortable and 10.14% were not.
Conclusions: Patients reported an overall high level of satisfaction with telemedicine. One area of improvement is the technological aspect. More than 50% were older than 65 years and a significant proportion lived in underserved areas which indicates that telemedicine is easily accessible. Moreover, around 80% were comfortable to return to clinic while 10% were not which highlights the importance of offering both telemedicine and in-person care.