According to a recent poll reported in Cureus, the majority of patients were happy with telehealth and felt that their social and medical needs were addressed during virtual visits, which supports the usage of virtual care in the future to address social determinants of health (SDOH). In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic’s rapid adoption of telehealth, patient satisfaction is still a major element in the high usage of this modality. The epidemic also brought to light how SDOH affects patient care. In order to assess patient satisfaction with the telehealth care patients receive and whether doctors could meet both medical and social requirements through virtual care, researchers ran a survey. Patients at a Detroit primary care training clinic linked with a university were surveyed for the study. The purpose of the survey was to determine how satisfied patients were with the technical aspects of their virtual visit, their actual visit, and the screening tool used to determine their SDOH needs. 79 individuals finished the survey in total. Respondents’ ages ranged from 18 to 74; 66% of them were women and 34% were men. Only 3% of respondents who were asked how comfortable they felt discussing medical issues over telehealth said they were uneasy. When asked how they felt about telehealth after their first experience, 60% stated they felt at ease using it, 14% said they felt uneasy, and 26% said they felt neither uncomfortable nor indifferent. The vast majority of patients (88%) said they will engage in telehealth in the future.
Additionally, 63 percent of patients provided a “very agreed” response that telemedicine addressed their worries about social determinants of health. Furthermore, 59 percent said their doctor had provided them with useful resources. Patients typically have pleasant experiences with technology. Patients gave “strongly agree” responses to the questions of whether they could hear the doctor and whether Zoom was simple to use in 64 percent and 61 percent of cases, respectively.
These findings led researchers to the conclusion that telehealth was well received by patients, who also felt that their social and medical concerns were taken care of during their virtual visit. Results from the survey also suggest that telehealth can assist physicians in improving their virtual contacts with patients and can help patients from underserved communities by facilitating accurate assessments of SDOH.