Amid COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth patient satisfaction high, could drive future access

July 1, 2020

In a new survey by medical software provider Kyruus, nearly three quarters had tried virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic and more than 75 percent said they were very or completely satisfied with their experience.

According to a survey of 1,000 patients by medical software provider Kyruus, nearly three quarters had tried virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic and more than 75 percent said they were very or completely satisfied with their experience.

With health system resources constrained and many patients reluctant to obtain in-person care due to COVID-19 concerns, virtual care adoption has risen dramatically. This drove the company to conduct the survey to gain an understanding of patients’ perceptions telehealth.

The findings of the report, titled Patient Perspectives on Virtual Care, also indicate that healthcare organizations have an opportunity to enhance patient experience, acquisition, and retention by making virtual care scheduling and follow-up more seamless.

The survey examined patients’ experiences accessing virtual care, their sentiment around the visits themselves, and their demand for virtual care in the future.

While they majority of respondents ranked their experiences with virtual care positively, 50% also said they would be willing to switch providers to have virtual visits on a regular basis.

The Kyruus survey also found some room for improvement in meeting patient demand for online scheduling - 54% of respondents would prefer it - and enhancing post-visit communication. In terms of the latter, less than half of respondents said they left their visits knowing what the next steps were and less than one-third received written or email follow-up - two of several gaps the survey responses revealed around closing the loop after virtual visits.

In a statement, Erin Jospe, MD, chief medical officer at Kyruus, said the strain that COVID-19 placed on patient access propelled an unprecedented rise in virtual care availability and adoption.

“This survey shows that patients have not only embraced it as a short-term alternative to in-person visits, but that they also now seek it as a permanent part of their healthcare,” she said. “As healthcare organizations correspondingly expand their virtual care offerings, it will be essential to drive awareness of them across access channels, diversify booking options, and ensure more closed-loop experiences.”

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ophthalmologists are seeing a shift in how they are treating patients.

According to Andrew G. Lee, MD, chair of the Blanton Eye Institute, Houston Methodist Hospital, in Houston, Texas, the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the way medicine is practiced throughout the country and the world.

“New alternatives to the modus operandi of traditional health care delivery have been necessary during these uncertain times,” Lee said. “One transformative alternative has been the use of telemedicine and virtual visits.”

A recent survey from Updox, a virtual care and healthcare communication company, of 2,000 U.S. adults, 42 percent have used telehealth services since the beginning of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Updox conducted the survey online by the Harris Poll with more than 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18+ participating. The survey shines light on consumer preferences of telehealth both now and post-COVID.