Comparing video consultation and telephone consultation at the outpatient clinic of a tertiary referral centre: patient and provider benefits

Esther Z Barsom, Anne Sophie H M van Dalen, Marjolein Blussé van Oud-Alblas, Christianne J Buskens, Anthony W H van de Ven, Pieter J Tanis, Marlies P Schijven, Willem A Bemelman
2020 BMJ Innovations  
ObjectivesTelephone consultations are frequently used in the outpatient setting in order to avoid unnecessary travel and to reduce hospital visit-related costs for patients. However, they are limited by the absence of non-verbal communication in contrast to video consultation. Little is known considering the possible advantages of using video consultation in comparison to telephone consultation according to both patients and healthcare providers.MethodsPatients with colorectal diseases were
more » ... l diseases were asked to choose between a telephone consultation or a video consultation for their next appointment at the outpatient clinic of a tertiary referral centre. Willingness to use video consultation, value of non-verbal communication, patient satisfaction, provider satisfaction and user friendliness of the video connection technology were measured using questionnaires.ResultsNone of the included patients ever had a video consultation before with a healthcare provider. Nonetheless, 22/50 preferred a video consultation over a telephone consultation. Patients who preferred a video consultation underlined the benefits of providing visual feedback to both patients and healthcare providers. Moreover, healthcare providers felt they were better able to assess the patients' healthcare condition.ConclusionFor patients who value both verbal and non-verbal interaction and feel comfortable with the use of video consultation, video consultation is the preferred contact modality. Shared decision making should be used to choose the preferred interaction modality. For patients with low digital skills, support might be needed or video consultation may not be the preferred choice.
doi:10.1136/bmjinnov-2020-000512 fatcat:qag7zvqkxrew5ak3zhcvj6f3fq