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Consumer perspectives of telehealth in ambulatory care in an Australian health network
journal contributionposted on 25.03.2022, 07:15 by Amy DennettAmy Dennett, Nicholas TaylorNicholas Taylor, K Williams, Andrea LewisAndrea Lewis, P Brann, JD Hope, AM Wilton, Katherine HardingKatherine Harding
We aimed to explore consumer experiences of ambulatory telehealth services and whether consumer experiences differed according to whether they received their consultation using telephone or video technology. We conducted structured telephone interviews with patient consumers who had received a recent remote consultation by telephone or video call, at local ambulatory allied health or multidisciplinary services within a large public metropolitan public health network. Respondents were asked about their recent experience and future choices in relation to telehealth. Responses from consumers who received telephone and video consultations were compared. Consumers from community rehabilitation, community health, allied health outpatients, multidisciplinary specialist clinics and mental health services participated (n = 379), of whom 245 received a telephone consultation (65%) and 134 a video consultation (35%). Almost half of respondents (49%) expressed preference for future face-to-face care and 29% reported they would choose to use telehealth over face-to-face consultation for a similar appointment again. Many commented that they would be influenced by the type of consultation required and expressed a desire to have a choice. Approximately 80% of both groups reported they had achieved the desired outcome from their telehealth consultation. Consumers using video were more likely to experience technical issues. Telehealth met the needs of most consumers, and responses were similar for telephone and video consultations.