Limitations of patient satisfaction studies in telehealthcare: a systematic review of the literature.

School of Primary Care, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
Telemedicine and e-Health (Impact Factor: 1.54). 02/2001; 7(4):293-316. DOI: 10.1089/15305620152814700
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this study is to provide a systematic review of studies on patient satisfaction with telemedicine. The review included empirical studies that investigated patient satisfaction with that telemedicine service. The search strategy involved matching at least one of 11 'telemedicine' terms with one of 5 'satisfaction' terms. The following databases were searched: Telemedicine Information Exchange (TIE) database, MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SCI), Social Science Citation Index (SSCI), Psycinfo, and Citation Index of Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL). A highly structured instrument was used for data extraction. The review included 93 studies. Telepsychiatry represents the largest portion of these studies (25%), followed by multispecialty care (14%), nursing (11%), and dermatology (8%). Real-time videoconferencing was used in 88% of these studies. Only 19 (20%) included an independent control group, including 9 (10%) randomized control trial (RCT) studies. One third of studies were based on samples of less than 20 patients, and only 21% had samples of over 100 patients. Aspects of patient satisfaction most commonly assessed were: professional-patient interaction, the patient's feeling about the consultation, and technical aspects of the consultation. Only 33% of the studies included a measure of preference between telemedicine and face-to-face consultation. Almost half the studies measured only 1 or 2 dimensions of satisfaction. Reported levels of satisfaction with telemedicine are consistently greater than 80%, and frequently reported at 100%. Progression of telemedicine services from "trial" status to routine health service must be supported by improved research into patients' satisfaction with telemedicine. Further investigation of factors that influence patient acceptance of telemedicine is indicated.

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    ABSTRACT: Access to specialty care is challenging for veterans in rural locations. To address this challenge, in December 2009, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) implemented an electronic consultation (e-consult) program to provide primary care providers (PCPs) and patients with enhanced specialty care access. The aim of this quality improvement (QI) project evaluation was to: (1) assess satisfaction with the e-consult process, and (2) identify perceived facilitators and barriers to using the e-consult program. We conducted semistructured telephone interviews with veteran patients (N=15), Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) PCPs (N=15), and VA Pittsburgh specialty physicians (N=4) who used the e-consult program between December 2009 to August 2010. Participants answered questions regarding satisfaction in eight domains and identified factors contributing to their responses. Most participants were white (patients=87%; PCPs=80%; specialists=75%) and male (patients=93%; PCPs=67%; specialists=75%). On average, patients had one e-consult (SD 0), PCPs initiated 6 e-consults (SD 6), and VAPHS specialists performed 17 e-consults (SD 11). Patients, PCPs, and specialty physicians were satisfied with e-consults median (range) of 5.0 (4-5) on 1-5 Likert-scale, 4.0 (3-5), and 3.5 (3-5) respectively. The most common reason why patients and specialists reported increased overall satisfaction with e-consults was improved communication, whereas improved timeliness of care was the most common reason for PCPs. Communication was the most reported perceived barrier and facilitator to e-consult use. Veterans and VA health care providers were satisfied with the e-consult process. Our findings suggest that while the reasons for satisfaction with e-consult differ somewhat for patients and physicians, e-consult may be a useful tool to improve VA health care system access for rural patients.
    01/2015; 3(1):e5. DOI:10.2196/medinform.3725
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