Less Time/Money, More Patient Satisfaction Seen in Telehealth
Many people feel unsafe due to COVID and don’t want to be exposed by going to the doctor. Telemedicine, which was rising in popularity even pre-COVID, is filling a need, saving patients time and money by enabling them to see practitioners from home. In a study presented at the Anesthesiology annual meeting this year, almost 1400 chronic pain patients over the course of 7 months had over 2,900 virtual appointments. Patients saved money on gas and parking, and avoided travel time to and from appointments. More importantly, almost all patients—92%—were satisfied with the virtual visit.
The study points out that new patients with new conditions should see practitioners in person if at all possible. But for patients with chronic pain and an established relationship with their doctor, telemedicine is a valuable service. Laleh Jalilian, MD, lead author of the study and clinical assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, stated, “Now that telemedicine is more widespread, it may become a valued part of care delivery in chronic pain practices. Clearly many patients benefitted from remote consultations and follow-up appointments using telemedicine. We believe 50% of our visits could be conducted via telemedicine. We hope it will encourage policymakers and insurance providers to continue to support these platforms and inspire more innovation in this developing field of research and patient care.”
Read the press release.
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