Members give video visits high marks — and with a few simple tips, you can prepare for a successful telehealth experience.
Like many Americans, Ginny Taylor had never booked a video appointment with her doctor prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But her first visit exceeded expectations.
“It was so simple and worked perfectly,” said Taylor, a Kaiser Permanente member for 17 years, who also appreciated the time she saved by not needing to drive and park at her facility, and the ability to keep a strong connection with her physician. “It was so nice being able to see the expressions of my doctor’s face right from my laptop.”
Kaiser Permanente’s robust video visit and telehealth capabilities have allowed us to provide high-quality care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 80% of our outpatient visits were completed by scheduled video and telephone appointments at the height of the shelter-in-place orders in the spring of 2020, and these virtual visits continue to represent about half of appointments today as members embrace the convenience, safety, and quality of these options.
Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente currently conducts more than 40,000 outpatient video visits each weekday on average — representing more than 20 times more this year than in all of 2019. In post-visit surveys, our members have rated our video visits 4.5 out of 5 stars on average.
“Our patients have always really liked video visits,” noted dermatologist Samit Patrawala, MD, who had already made video visits a staple of his practice before COVID-19. “They allow a personal connection and quality care, while also being affordable and convenient, and saving time away from work. The COVID-19 pandemic made more people aware of the benefits of video visits and really sped up a trend that was already in progress because it made so much sense for members.”
Video visits are available for a wide range of health issues and provide a convenient option to receive high-quality care face-to-face for cold, flu, and many other winter concerns and symptoms.
Video appointments can be joined from a smartphone or tablet, or through a laptop. During a video visit at Kaiser Permanente, the physician has full access to a patient’s electronic health record and can prescribe medication and order lab work and diagnostic tests. Physicians can also direct patients to additional care as needed, including in-person visits, as well as follow up digitally by video, phone, or secure message depending on treatment needs and member preferences.
“Our patients benefit from years of leadership and investment in video visits,” said Dr. Patrawala. “Video visits offer so many advantages by streamlining the interaction between patient and physician — no parking, no check-in, full history, the ability to immediately order needed tests, and more — while still preserving a face-to-face, human connection.”
Dr. Patrawala offers several suggestions for making the most of your video visit:
For more information or to book a video visit, Kaiser Permanente members can visit kp.org/getcare.