Patient Satisfaction with In-Person, Video, and Telephone Allergy/Immunology Evaluations During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Allergy and Immunology

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Publication Title

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice


Background: The SarsCoV2, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic necessitated a rapid transition from in-person evaluations to remote delivery of care, including both video and telephone visits, in allergy/immunology practices.

Objective: To evaluate patient satisfaction, patient and physician impression of encounter completeness, and reimbursement between in-person, video, and telephone encounters. This study also assessed factors influencing patient satisfaction, perception of completeness, and choice of future evaluation type.

Methods: This was a prospective study of all encounters at a health care-system owned practice. Encounter type, encounter modality, patient demographics, primary diagnoses, reimbursement data, and physician assessment of encounter completeness were tracked. Patient satisfaction was assessed via standardized questions.

Results: There were 447 encounters, with 303 in-person (67.8%), 98 video (21.9%), and 46 telephone (10.3%). Patient satisfaction data was obtained from 251 patients. There was similar patient satisfaction among all encounter modalities. Both patients and physicians were more likely to deem an in-person encounter as complete. Physicians were more likely to report an in-person encounter to be complete for food allergy (P < .001) and chronic rhinitis (P = .001) compared with video or telephone, whereas patients reported in-person encounters for food allergy to be complete compared with other modalities (P = .002). Patients reported that future encounter types should depend on the clinical situation.

Conclusions: There was similar patient satisfaction with in-person, video, and telephone encounters in an allergy/immunology practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chronic rhinitis and food allergy are more likely to call for an in-person evaluation. New patient visits are likely to be the highest yield to focus on for in-person evaluations.



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