A new study from the Moffitt Cancer Center reveals that patients ranked telehealth higher than in-person care in terms of care access and provider engagement.

The researchers polled 39,268 patients who participated in over 50,000 visits from April 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. Of the total patient population, 33,318 patients had in-person visits, and 5,950 participated in telehealth visits.

Patients rated 75.8 percent of telehealth visits as highly satisfying, with regard to care access, above in-person visits, which were rated as highly satisfying 62.5 percent of the time. Interestingly, patients rated 84.2 percent of in-person visits and 90.7 percent of telehealth visits as highly satisfying, in regards to the extent to which their provider showed concern during their visit. Even adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, sex, insurance, and clinic type, “telehealth visits consistently outperformed in-person visits over time regarding access and care provider concern,” according to the study.

What’s more, 63 percent of patients strongly agreed that concerns surrounding social determinants of health (SDOH) received due attention during telehealth visits, which supports the option of using telehealth to conduct assessments of SDOH to serve patients from underserved communities.

Survey results from December 2022 showed that 60 percent of patients felt comfortable with telehealth after the first encounter and 88 percent indicated willingness to participate in telehealth in the future.