Convenience is Key for Patient Engagement with Remote Video Visits in a Musculoskeletal Practice

Document Type : RESEARCH PAPER


Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA


Background: Remote video visits (aka telemedicine, virtual care) have the potential to increase access to orthopaedic
specialty evaluation while decreasing the overall cost of care. Clinical implementation of remote video visits may benefit
from an understanding of potential barriers to participation.
Methods: We enrolled one hundred and thirty participants from a university-based musculoskeletal clinic with a large
uninsured population. We asked participants to complete a survey, including demographics and scaled perception
questions about remote video visits. Data from these surveys were analyzed with multivariable logistic regression to
determine factors associated with willingness to participate in video visits, as well as the situations in which patients
would consider a video visit.
Results: Willingness to participate in video visits was associated with the perception of video visits being more
convenient (OR 3.0) and a decreased perceived importance of physical exam (OR 0.36) but not age, technology
comfort, or travel distance to the clinic. Additionally, those with prior video visit experience were more comfortable
with technology, perceived video visits to be more convenient, and were more willing to have another video visit.
Fifteen percent were willing to have a video visit for their first visit, while 78% would participate for a routine nonsurgical
Conclusion: Musculoskeletal telemedicine programs can become established by focusing on people that prioritize
convenience, place less importance on a hands-on exam, and are established patients.
Level of evidence: II


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