New data from the CVS Health Research Institute shows very high levels of patient satisfaction with the quality of care delivered via telehealth at MinuteClinic retail medical clinics.
Satisfaction with quality of care and other factors were measured among patients participating in a pilot program of telehealth care rolled out at MinuteClinic locations in California and Texas in 2014, and the findings were published on-line in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
The study evaluated de-identified responses from more than 1,700 patients who participated in the MinuteClinic telehealth pilot. Patients had services at a CVS MinuteClinic location, provided by a remote clinician using telehealth technology. Patients were asked if they had health insurance and a primary care provider and rated their satisfaction with a number of measures associated with their telehealth visit, including quality of care and convenience. Patients were also asked to rank their experience of a telehealth visit as compared to that of a traditional visit, when the patient and a healthcare provider are face-to-face, in the same room.
Overall, 95 percent of patients were highly satisfied with the quality of care they received, the ease with which telehealth technology was integrated into the visit, and the timeliness and convenience of their care. In addition, one-third of patients indicated that they preferred a telehealth visit to a visit with a clinician in the same room, in particular those patients without health insurance, and nearly all found telehealth to be just as good as or better than a traditional visit.
"In the United States today, approximately a quarter of patients do not have a primary care provider or have incomplete access to one," William Shrank, M.D., chief scientific officer, CVS Health, said in a statement. "This lack of access, combined with an increased demand for care resulting from expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and the challenge of finding convenient care for patients balancing work and personal responsibilities, necessitate exploration of alternative, high quality care options such as telehealth in the MinuteClinic setting."