Currently accepted at: Journal of Medical Internet Research
Date Submitted: Jan 17, 2018
Open Peer Review Period: Jan 17, 2018 - Apr 5, 2018
Date Accepted: Aug 26, 2018
(closed for review but you can still tweet)
Cliniciansâ€™ Selection Criteria for Video Visits in Outpatient Care: Qualitative Study
Video visits with patients were introduced into outpatient care at a hospital in Sweden. New behaviors and tasks emerged due to changes in roles, work processes, and responsibilities. This study investigates the effects of the digital transformationâ€”in this case, how video visits in outpatient care change work processes and introduce new tasksâ€”to further improve the concept of video visits. The overarching goal was to increase the value of these visits, with a focus on the value of conducting the treatment for the patient.
Through the real-time, social interactional features of preparing for and conducting video visits with patients with obesity, this study examines which patients the clinicians considered suitable for video visits and why. The aim was to identify the criteria used by clinicians when selecting patients for video visits to understand what criteria the clinicians used as the grounds for their selection.
Qualitative methods were used, including 13 observations of video visits at 2 different clinics and 14 follow-up interviews with clinicians. Transcripts of interviews and field notes were thematically analyzed, discussed, and synthesized into themes.
From the interviews, 20 different arguments for selecting a specific patient for video visits were identified. Analyzing interviews and field notes also revealed unexpressed arguments that played a part in the selection process. The unexpressed arguments, as well as the implicit reasons, for why a patient was given the option of video visits can be understood as the selection criteria for helping clinicians in their decision about whether to offer video visits or not. The criteria identified in the collected data were divided into 3 themes: practicalities, patient ability, and meeting content.
Not all patients with obesity undergoing treatment programs should be offered video visits. Patientsâ€™ new responsibilities could influence the content of the meeting and the progress of the treatment program. The selection criteria developed and used by the clinicians could be a tool for finding a balance between what the patient wants and what the clinician thinks the patient can manage and achieving good results in the treatment program. The criteria could also reduce the number and severity of disturbances and limitations during the meeting and could be used to communicate the requirements they represent to the patient. Some of the criteria are based on facts, whereas others are subjective. A method for how and when to involve the patient in the selection process is recommended as it may strengthen the patientâ€™s sense of responsibility and the relationship with the clinician.
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