In-person visits outperform telehealth in this situation: Study

A recent study found patients who utilized telehealth visits had lower rates of follow-up care completion.

The study, published Nov. 15 in JAMA Network Open, analyzed 4,133 diagnostic tests and referrals from March 2020 to December 2021 at a large, urban hospital-based primary care practice and an affiliated community health center in Boston.

Diagnostic tests and referrals, which included colonoscopies, cardiac stress test and dermatology referrals, were completed 58.4% of the time when ordered during in-person visits and 42.6% of the time when ordered during telehealth visits. 

"Failure to close diagnostic loops presents a patient safety challenge in primary care that may be of particular concern during telehealth encounters," the study authors wrote.

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