Patients, Providers Agree: Virtual Visits are of ‘Good Quality’

Respondents say they enjoy increased flexibility without sacrificing care

The majority of respondents indicated that they appreciate the quality of virtual physician visits, according to a recent American Journal of Managed Care study.

Out of 315 total participants (254 patients, 61 clinicians) a majority (62 percent of patients; 59 percent of clinicians) said they felt that virtual video visits offered the same level of quality as an in-person visit. Interestingly, only 21 percent of patients felt the video visit was ‘better’ than an in-person appointment, but 33 percent of clinicians responded accordingly.

Some more key statistics from the study:

  • 68 percent of patients rated virtual video visits at 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale.
  • Most patients (79 percent) reported finding a convenient time for a follow-up virtual video visit was easier than a traditional office visit.
  • Just as 33 percent of clinicians indicated a preference for video visits, an identical one third of clinicians thought office visit quality was better.
  • While 46 percent of clinicians said they thought office visits were better with regard to feeling a “personal connection” with their patient, only 33 percent of patients felt the same.

“Some of the participants in our study were parents of children who needed multiple frequent visits or older patients for whom travel was difficult to arrange,” said Karen Donelan, ScD, a senior scientist at the MGH’s Mongan Institute Health Policy Center and lead author of the paper. “It did not surprise us that they found virtual visits more convenient, but we were impressed that nearly all perceived the quality of care or communication to be the same or better than at the traditional and familiar office visits.”

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