News Feature | May 20, 2014

Patients Satisfied With Telehealth For Follow-up Care

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

Follow-up Visits Using Telehealth

The majority of patients using teleneurological services for access to follow-up care have reported feeling “highly satisfied” by the experience.

More than 35 patients who were diagnosed with a chronic neurologic illness at a VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, NM, were recommended for remote follow up care at a community-based outpatient clinic in rural areas of surrounding states. A study recently published in Telemedicine and e-Health surveyed those veterans to find out how they perceived their telehealth experiences.

According to iHealth Beat, 90 percent of patients said they were "fully satisfied" with the teleneurology visit, 7 percent were neutral, and only 3 percent were unsatisfied. The survey also found 92 percent of patients said the teleneurology technology saved them time and money, and 95 percent said they wanted to continue to receive care via teleneurology.

The survey calculated the amount of money saved by the veterans who did not have to travel to Albuquerque for their follow up appointments. Of the patients, there was an average travel time of five hours and 325 miles driven. Researchers say the telehealth appointments saved a total of $48,000 for the patients they surveyed.

“Our study confirms earlier pilot studies of successful follow up care through telemedicine. Our patients were highly satisfied with the convenience and quality of the teleneurology visit, and the neurology providers were convinced that the neurologic care to both teleneurology and clinic follow up patients was equivalent,” concluded researchers. “Teleneurology to rural veterans can provide quality neurologic care and overwhelming patient satisfaction and save considerable time and money.”