Variation in Quality of Urgent Health Care Provided During Commercial Virtual Visits

JAMA Internal Medicine
April 2016
Schoenfeld, A.J., Davies, J.M., Marafino B.J., Dean, M., DeJong, C., Bardach, N.S., et al.

Commercial virtual visits are an increasingly popular model of health care for the management of common acute illnesses. In commercial virtual visits, patients access a website to be connected synchronously — via videoconference, telephone, or webchat — to a physician with whom they have no prior relationship. To date, whether the care delivered through those websites is similar or quality varies among the sites has not been assessed. Drawing on HCFO-funded work, R. Adams Dudley, University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues assessed the variation in the quality of urgent health care among virtual visit companies. The researchers found significant variation among companies providing virtual visits for management of common acute illnesses. More variation was found in performance for some conditions than for others, but no variation by mode of communication.

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