Going into town or staying home: Rural patient experience and preference with home-based versus clinic-based telehealth

Leslie Eiland, Jana Wardian, Harlan Sayles, Andjela Drincic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Telehealth is a model of care with potential to improve access, and in turn outcomes, for people living in rural areas. Since 2013, our endocrine clinic-based telehealth program has provided care at rural community hospitals in Nebraska and Iowa. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when regulations around telehealth were adjusted, patients previously seen via clinic-based telehealth had the option to continue clinic-based visits or have a home-based telehealth visit. There is no literature comparing patient experiences between home-based and clinic-based telehealth. The purpose of this study was to understand rural patient preferences regarding endocrinology home-based versus clinic-based telehealth visits. Methods: This was a survey study of adult, rural patients who experienced both a clinic-based and home-based telehealth visit with their established endocrinology provider. Respondents were asked about demographics, their reason for visit, preference for home versus clinic-based telehealth, and how they would have received care if telehealth were not an option. Results: Forty-two patients (40.8%) responded to the survey, with 27 patients (64.3%) preferring home-based telehealth. There were no significant differences between the groups. However, 47.5% of patients would not have sought specialty care if telehealth were not an option. Discussion: This survey of endocrine patients experienced in both clinic-based and home-based telehealth indicates that, while most respondents preferred home-based telehealth, there are distinct advantages to each model and patients appreciate having options. We believe it is important to maintain both lines of service to provide patient-centered care and improve access to specialty care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • Telehealth
  • access to care
  • endocrinology
  • patient experience
  • preference
  • rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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