HealthDay News — Primary care video visits are convenient and may improve the patient-provider relationship, according to a research letter published online April 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mary E. Reed, DrPH, from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and colleagues surveyed adult patients with a scheduled video visit to examine their experience. A total of 1274 patients participated in the study, and of these patients, 1163 self-reported a scheduled video visit.

The researchers found that 67% of those who scheduled a video visit needed to make one or more arrangements to attend an in-person office visit. Reasons for scheduling a video visit included convenience (87%) and visit experiences (92% reported provider familiarity with history and 84% reported an improved patient-provider relationship). Barriers to video visits included privacy concerns (11%) and preferring in-person care (41%). Overall, 82% of the 1163 respondents who self-reported a scheduled video visit completed the visit. Sixty-two percent of the patients who did not complete the visit communicated with the clinician in some other way, 12% changed their mind or their health issue resolved, and 26% reported technical barriers. Thirty-three percent of patients who completed a video visit reported that it decreased the number of in-person office visits for the same condition, while 53 and 5% reported no change and an increase, respectively.

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“Integrated video telemedicine may be a transformative tool in increasing patient-centered access to health care,” the authors write.

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