Category: Back Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: January 11, 2021
The pandemic has forced many medical practices to adapt in order to continue seeing patients and providing consultations. It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s better than the alternative of forcing patients to wait weeks or months to be able to safely see a specialist in person. The majority of doctors and patients prefer in-person consultations, but a recent study found that one factor greatly influenced whether or not they were satisfied with their telehealth spinal consultation. We take a closer look at what drives telehealth satisfaction and appointment preference in patients seeking spine care.
In-Person Appointments Prefered
A recent study of patients seeking care for back pain found that despite the current pandemic, most of them still preferred to see a specialist in person. In fact, more than 80 percent of respondents said they preferred in-person spinal appointments to telehealth visits. Only 15.3 percent of respondents said they preferred telehealth consultations, with four percent saying they did not have a preference either way.
However, there was one driving factor that dramatically influenced whether or not a respondent preferred one appointment over the other. When patients had to travel more than 25 miles or more than 50 miles for their appointment, they were much more likely to prefer a telehealth appointment for their spine discomfort than when the clinic was closer to their home.
While this may not be groundbreaking news that patients who live further away like the convenience of a telehealth appointment, it certainly suggests that these virtual appointments have merit even in the face of the study’s conclusion, which was that the vast majority of patients prefer in-person appointments. Even when the pandemic is over, we plan to offer virtual appointments because we know that when it comes to your health, your options shouldn’t be limited to just those providers near your house. You deserve the best care, and that could come from a provider who is 25, 50 or 100 miles or more away, and we want to ensure you have access to this care without having to spend all day driving to and from your appointment.
So if you are dealing with back pain, know that you don’t need to pick a provider solely because they are closest to home. We’re accepting new patients with in-person and through virtual appointments, and as we shared in a blog last month, virtual visits for spine care are highly effective. Don’t assume that your level of care will fall off because you’re seeing a specialist through an online portal as opposed to in-person, because the research shows otherwise.
Whether you need an initial diagnosis or a second opinion, Dr. Sinicropi and his team can provide a high level of care and insight through a virtual visit. To learn more about our telehealth options, or to schedule a virtual visit, pick up the phone and call our office today at (651) 430-3800.