The Ideal Patient for Teleconsultation and Saving Resources

Telemed J E Health. 2020 Sep 11. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2020.0268. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: The main objectives of the study were to evaluate the level of patients’ acceptance of teleconsultation (TC) and to define the ideal patient profile for this type of service. The secondary objectives were to estimate the impact in time and financial resources for the patient in relation to face-to-face medicine. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective, nonprobabilistic, and random sampling study using an uncontrolled selection process consisting of a 19-question survey for health care users in the general population, in which the patients’ acceptance of TC was analyzed through the question: “If your doctor suggested that you have a video conference consultation, how attractive would the proposal be for you?” Results: Of the 400 patients, 73.8% were in favor of a TC service. The variables that were associated with the acceptance of TC were health care users who had previously purchased on the internet (odds ratio [OR] = 2.6 confidence interval [CI] 95% 1.31; 5.05) and whether they were willing to assume the economic cost for a TC (OR = 7.8 CI 95% 3.26; 18.6). In terms of face-to-face consultations per year, 50% of the patients spent 5 h (standard deviation [SD] 10.7) going to see the doctor, and on average they requested 8.9 h (SD 16.1) of time off work permission and assumed an economic cost of €29.8 (SD 82.9) on journey time. Conclusion: A high number of health care users accept the use of TC, and this percentage increases in patients who had previously purchased online and were willing to assume an economic cost for this service.

PMID:33576720 | DOI:10.1089/tmj.2020.0268