PATIENT SATISFACTION WITH VIRTUAL CARE COMPARED TO CLINIC VISITS IN DIABETIC EDUCATOR SERVICE IN DIABETES AND ENDOCRINOLOGY DEPARTMENT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: SURVEY WITH QUESTIONNAIRE
Dr. Samia A. Bokhari, Dr. Patan Murthuza Khan1*, Dr. Muneera Shareef, Sara Ahmed Zahrani, Bashayer Awad Al-Harbi, Amal Ibrahim Shabeer, Basmah Saleh Ba Kadam and Reham Ali Ba-essa
Objective: This study evaluated the level of patient satisfaction with virtual care compared to in-person clinic visits among diabetic patients in diabetic educator clinics in tertiary care hospital. Material and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in diabetic educator clinics under diabetes and endocrinology department of King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital in Jeddah. Saudi Arabia during COVID 19 pandemic period. A Questionnaire with multiple responses was developed for assessing patient satisfaction with virtual care comparing in person clinics. Results: Total number of 635 persons with diabetes completed the survey. When asked about preference between virtual and in person clinic almost half them preferred virtual clinic and half actual clinics. Preference for combined virtual versus virtual clinic alone high percentage (88.9%) preferred combined in person and virtual clinics. The reasons for not preferring the virtual clinic were Irregular appointments during pandemic and uncertain time of calls from virtual clinics. Regarding satisfaction with treatment plans by virtual clinic telephonic calls 543(85%) were satisfied by virtual clinic calls and 34(5%) were not satisfied. The reason for not satisfying were difficulty in understanding instructions by phone and feeling necessity to be personally present in clinic when new plans of treatment are planned. Conclusions: The patients with diabetes who participated in this study showed moderate satisfaction level with virtual care and high satisfaction with combination of virtual and in person clinics. Particularly among females higher satisfactory response was recorded. Future large-scale multicenter studies are required to decide continuation of virtual care as a part of outpatient in person clinic service after COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Patient satisfaction, diabetic educator clinic, virtual care, COVID- 19 pandemic.
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