To determine the effect of encounter methods on patient experience, we evaluated patient experience survey data comparing scores between telehealth and in-person visits and pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 time periods. Pediatric subspecialty visits were either in-person or via telehealth and received the same 16-question patient experience survey. Top box (5/5) scores were compared between in-person and telehealth visits for pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods as well as between periods for in-person and telehealth visits. In addition, for both time periods and encounter methods, correlation analysis was performed to evaluate best correlation between likelihood to recommend practice and the 15 other survey questions. Comparing the COVID-19 period data, there was a statistically significant difference in the top box likelihood to recommend practice score comparing in-person to telehealth numbers (81.01% vs 87.13%, p = 0.0003). Comparing pre-COVID-19 with COVID-19, this was not true for in-person scores (79.97% vs 81.01%, p = 0.4060) or telehealth scores (82.50% vs 87.13%, p = 0.2084). The question with the highest correlation coefficient to likelihood to recommend practice was how well staff worked together in both time periods and visit methods. We conclude that Likelihood to recommend experience scores were statistically significantly higher for telehealth as compared to in-person pediatric subspecialty ambulatory visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. There were no such differences in likelihood to recommend comparing pre- vs COVID-19 time periods for either in-person or telehealth visits so the change in scoring seems to be related to the mode of care delivery.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Policy & Measurement lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework. (https://www.theberylinstitute.org/ExperienceFramework).