Assistance With Connecting to Virtual Visits Can Help Close Care Gaps
An initiative that included "virtual rooming," in which a medical assistant calls the patient 15 minutes before a telehealth visit to help them connect to the appointment, was associated with successful video visit connections, according to new research. The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 136,699 video visits held from October 1 through October 31, 2020. In all, nearly 84% of the visits involved a successful connection and patients receiving care at medical offices with high virtual rooming rates had a 7% higher likelihood of having a successful connection to the telehealth visit. The estimated adjusted connection rates for patients who received help were 11.4% higher among people who lived in low socioeconomic status neighborhoods, 12.1% higher among Black patients, 9.8% higher among Latino patients, and 13.1% higher among patients requiring interpretation services. "The involvement of a medical assistant seemed to reduce the technology gap,” said senior study author Mary Reed, DrPH, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. "Our study didn't identify exactly how this happens, but we believe it is because the medical assistant is available to walk patients through the technology and provide encouragement and a human connection."
Read more on mHealth Intelligence.