About Telehealth and Patient Satisfaction

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is defined as the "Electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health, and health administration" (HRSA, 2021).

The use of telehealth has increased by 8729% during the COVID-19 pandemic (Ramaswamey et al., 2020) and it is important to understand how patients are reacting to this change and if they are satisfied with the use of telehealth services. 

Scope of Topic

Healthcare providers have seen a beneficial change in care to their patients and clients through telehealth.  Patient centered care is always at the forefront of delivery options and in today’s society, telehealth has been able to support this belief.  The Institute of Medicine (2001) has identified patient-centeredness as an essential component for delivering quality care, and this includes respect for patient needs, preferences, and values.  Adherence to these principles can help to achieve patient satisfaction with telehealth services.  Telehealth use has increased exponentially with the coronavirus pandemic.  Understanding patient satisfaction with telehealth services is integral in moving forward with successful outcomes.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement  (IHI) Triple Aim:

The IHI Triple Aim | IHI - Institute for Healthcare Improvement

The IHI (2021) developed the Triple Aim in 2007 as a framework for healthcare organizations to improve quality of the care that is provided.  It takes on a three pronged approach that includes:

  1. Improving the patient experience of care
  2. Improving the health of populations
  3. Reducing the per capita cost of healthcare services

 

 What Happens After the COVID-19 Public Health  Emergency Ends? - The Medical Care Blog

Modes of Telehealth (Center for Connected Health Policy, n.d.):

  • Live Video: Most commonly known to the patient.  Communication between the provider and patient in real-time from remote locations 
  • Mobile Health (mHealth): Mobile technology such as smartphones, tablets, and wearables such as watches that track data with the intent of improved health.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring: Provider is able to monitor the patient remotely increasing monitoring and capturing changes in health status.  This decreases chance of exacerbation and improves outcomes leading. 
  • Store and Forward: Allows health data to be collected and sent via secure platform for review by another provider at another time.  Often used by radiologists and dermatologists to view images.