Telehealth services in an outpatient nephrology clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic: a patient perspective

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



International urology and nephrology




COVID-19; Nephrology; Patient satisfaction; Patient-centered; Telehealth; Telemedicine


PURPOSE: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, new policy waivers permitted reimbursement of telehealth services in urban settings. The aim of this study was to assess patient satisfaction with telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic in an outpatient urban nephrology practice. METHODS: Patients who had virtual encounters were asked to complete an online survey regarding their experiences with telehealth services. RESULTS: Twenty-one percent of eligible patients completed the survey. Patients (83.6%) reported overall positive experiences with telehealth and want to see a hybrid healthcare model in the future (80.1%). Additionally, most patients found telehealth appointments convenient to make and telehealth encounters convenient to conduct. Ethnicity, age, gender, and insurance type did not have a statistically significant impact on satisfaction ratings. Technical issues were not encountered by 79.5% of patients and patients were willing to use the video feature. However, if they had technical issues, patient satisfaction ratings were negatively impacted. CONCLUSION: Telehealth services are beneficial to patients with regards to convenience, decreased transportation costs and time, increased accessibility to healthcare, and decreased overall opportunity costs. However, challenges still remain with the deployment of telehealth and will be dependent on patients' digital health literacy, access to broadband internet and devices, and legislation and/or regulations. Limitations of the study, including small sample size and surveying patients from a nephrology practice, may prevent it from being generalizable. Additional studies with a larger sample size and multiple specialties may be needed to generalize patients' satisfaction with telehealth services.