Rheumatology Patient Satisfaction With Telemedicine During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States



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Journal of Patient Experience


The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has led to the use of virtual visits in lieu of in-person care for the high-risk population of patients in rheumatology. We asked patients to score their satisfaction with these visits and if they would have preferred in-person care instead. Of 679 patients seen in May 2020, 512 (75.4%) were virtual (267 [52.1%] by telephone and 245 [47.9%] by video), and 359 (70%) responded to the survey. The majority of patients (74%) were satisfied with their virtual visit, but they were more likely to be satisfied if their visit was over video rather than phone. They preferred an in-person visit if they were meeting a doctor for the first time, and patients who required a language interpreter were significantly less satisfied with virtual care. There was no correlation of age, sex, diagnosis, or testing ordered with satisfaction. The main concern against virtual care was the inability to have a physical exam, while the main reasons in favor of it were avoidance of potential infection and convenience.



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