PURPOSE: The COVID-19 pandemic caused rapid implementation and upscaling of video consulting. This study examined the perceived quality of care delivered through video consulting at a geriatric outpatient clinic, and how this related to adoption issues and barriers early adopting professionals found themselves confronted with.
METHODS: We performed a qualitative study using semi-structured interviews with healthcare professionals complemented by the views of geriatric patients, family caregivers and medical secretaries. Participants from five academic centers and six teaching hospitals were included. Three researchers conducted the interviews, coded the data, and used thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Interviews were conducted with 13 healthcare professionals, 8 patients, 7 family caregivers, and 4 medical secretaries. From these early adopters, we infer five criteria positively contributing to perceived quality of care provided by video consulting: (1) the patient has an intact cognitive function; (2) a family caregiver with digital literacy can be present; (3) doctor and patient already have an established relationship; (4) no immediate need for physical examination or intervention; and (5) the prior availability of a comprehensive and concise medical history. Overall, the uptake of video consulting in geriatric outpatient care appeared to be slow and laborious due to several implementation barriers.
CONCLUSION: The implementation of video consulting use among geriatricians and geriatric patients at the geriatric outpatient clinic was slow due to the absence of many facilitating factors, but video consulting might be offered as an alternative to face-to-face follow-up to suitable patients in geriatric outpatient clinics.