HCFO-Funded Work on Quality of Virtual Urgent Care Visits Featured in Multiple News Outlets

Publication Date: 
April 11, 2016

Given its convenience and accessibility, telemedicine is an increasingly popular model of health care, particularly for the management of common acute illnesses. But how does the quality of virtual urgent care visits compare to traditional physician office visits? In a piece for Reuters, Lisa Rapaport discusses findings from a HCFO-funded study from R. Adams Dudley, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), that found about one in four patients received the wrong diagnosis or none at all from virtual visits, and virtual doctors follow standard diagnosis and treatment protocols just 54 percent of the time. Coauthor Dr. Adam Schoenfeld, UCSF, noted that the low rate of testing “may reflect the challenges of ordering or following up on tests performed near where the patient lives but far from where the doctor is, or concern about the costs to the patient of additional testing.” The findings were also cited in Fox News, Yahoo! News, Science Daily, Medical News Today, Physician’s Briefing, and Medical Daily, among others.