Are Patients Satisfied with Telehealth?

Satisfaction with telehealth (TH) is high among patients with cancer, according to a study presented during the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, and is on the rise. However, differences persist by demographic.

The researchers evaluated monthly TH utilization at their institute from between March and November 2020. All patients received a survey following their TH visit unless they had a visit within the prior three months. The percent top box score (% TBS), which was reported for 14 survey items spanning four domains (technology, access, care provider [CP], and overall assessment), was defined as proportion of responses in the highest possible response category.

Overall, 21% of encounters were TH visits during the study period, during which time TH use shot up from 9% (March) to peak at 47% in November. Satisfaction was higher for phone versus video visits regarding technology and access. Millennials were more satisfied with access to TH than patients in the Gen X, Baby Boomer, and Silent Generations. However, there were no generational differences in satisfaction with technology. Patients who were disabled expressed higher TH satisfaction overall than those working full time or who were retired. Patients with commercial insurance were less satisfied overall than those with other insurance types. Satisfaction did not differ by gender.

“TH cancer patient satisfaction is high and has improved over time, however satisfaction differs by patient demographics. Further data are needed to best select patients appropriate for TH,” the study authors concluded.