Patients and doctors satisfaction with virtual clinics in Respiratory Department

Title: Patients and doctors satisfaction with virtual clinics in Respiratory Department
Author(s): D Halim, S Toland, RW Costello, NG McElvaney, C Gunaratnam, P Branagan, K Hurley, E O’Brien, R Morgan, I Sulaiman
Institution: Beaumont Hospital
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: General Respiratory and Sleep
Abstract: In light of the COVID19 pandemic and need for social distancing, many out-patient services have opted for phone call consultation or virtual clinic (VC). We aimed to establish if VC is a viable alternative to face-to-face clinic (F2FC) in a respiratory department.

One-Hundred participants were asked to fill out patient satisfaction questionnaires via phone call. Eighteen physicians within the department were also asked to fill out questionnaires.

The majority of patients (94%) were satisfied with VC and agreed that VC was convenient (n=90), information was relayed clearly (n=96) and covered everything that patients wanted to discuss (n=92). VC was deemed comparable to F2FC by 83 patients. However, 44 (44%) patients preferred F2FC in the future. From the physician perspective, 10 (56%) were satisfied with VC and 8 (45%) felt that it was comparable to F2FC. Interestingly, 11 (61%) physicians had no specific clinic preferences. Comparing patient and physician perspectives, patients had significantly better perception of VC than physicians (p-value <0.05). However, the preference of the clinics type, whether it be F2FC or VC, was not statistically different. (p-value 0.69).

Virtual clinics, by phone call, is a feasible medium to continue running a respiratory out patient service while adhering to social distancing with good patient satisfaction. In addition we have identified ways to improve this service.