Why Patients Prefer Video-Based Follow-up Over In-Person Visits

It is no news that there is an increasing preference for virtual (Face-to-Face) visits over in-person visits. For follow-up visits, the numbers are also high in terms of preference.


A JAMA Surgery study on veterans found that telemedicine is as “effective as in-person follow-up visits for post-surgery situations.”


The study showed that 69 percent of the participants preferred virtual follow-ups to in-person follow-ups. Those who preferred virtual visits are those who tend to live farther from the physician’s office than those who preferred office visits.


It also showed that most patients seem to prefer these type of virtual care visits after a surgical discharge.


Follow-up care is essential for any patient but can be difficult to manage since patients tend to miss these. In fact, Patient no-show rates range anywhere from 5 percent to 50 percent. Patients miss their follow-up appointments due to high costs, time management, and demographics.


A study by Dr. Ali Haider from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center found that Face-to-Face visits had better scores for compassion, communication skills and professionalism than 71  percent of patients prefer face-to-face visits according to the study.


An Annals Of Family Medicine Journal found that patients identified “convenience, efficiency, communication, privacy, and comfort as domains that are potentially important to consider when assessing video visits vs in-person encounters.”


This is why patients prefer video-based appointments because it solves most of their barriers when it comes to communicating with their physician in a timely manner.




Video-based follow-up appointments offer a great deal for patients who have recently had surgery and do not desire to travel to the physician’s office. Unlike a phone call, a virtual appointment allows the physician to detect a possible wound infection that can be confirmed at an in-person visit.


In terms of reducing costs, virtuals visits cost about half of the cost of an in-person visit; about $40 to $50 per visit. If it’s just a follow-up appointment.


JAMA surgery also study found that most participants reported a positive experience with video visits and the convenience of not having to miss work, travel or change attire.


Citing the study: One patient said, “You’re sitting right in your room on your computer. How much more convenient can that be? And you don’t even have to take a shower. I mean you can get on the computer, talk to the doctor, go back to bed.”

Reduced costs


ent, patients can feel discouraged to attend to an in-person visit due to the higher cost. In this case, virtual visits offer a better deal and are as effective as an in-person follow-up. These virtual visits are also increasingly becoming covered by insurance.


With In-person visits, usually patients need to make time out of their busy lives to see a doctor, and that often includes having to use PTO or hire a sitter. Video-based follow-ups offer the flexibility of getting care from their home or office without accruing any extra cost.

Posted in Blog