The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the practice of dermatology as social distancing guidelines have led to a shift from in-office care to virtual telehealth (teledermatology). We aimed to determine patient satisfaction, perceived barriers, as well as indications for teledermatology appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A survey was sent out via SurveyMonkey’s online platform to patients of the George Washington Medical Faculty Associates’ Dermatology department who attended telehealth appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Out of 894 invitations sent, 168 patients completed our survey.The most common reasons for making a telehealth appointment were for a new rash (11.6%), eczema (9.8%), and psoriasis (9.1%). The most common reasons respondents liked telehealth were because of time efficiency (81.1%), not requiring transportation (74.2%), and maintaining social distancing (73.6%). The most common reasons respondents did not like telehealth were due to lack of physical touch (26.8%) and feeling they received an inadequate assessment (15.7%). Very few patients reported that they were unlikely to undertake another telehealth visit (9.94%) or recommend a telehealth visit to others (6.92%).
Dermatology patients likely perceive telehealth visits as a convenient and safe method for quality care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of physical touch, inability to provide close inspection and/or procedural intervention can be frustrating for patients and therefore meaningful selection of appropriate cases for telehealth visits can optimize the patient experience. Overall, telemedicine represents an effective and safe vehicle for delivering care especially during a global pandemic. J Drugs Dermatol. 2021;20(2):178-183. doi:10.36849/JDD.2021.5714.