Patient Telemedicine Perceptions during the COVID-19 Pandemic within a Multi-State Medical Institution: Qualitative Study

Pravesh Sharma, Anthony R. Sinicrope, Pamela Sinicrope, Tabetha A. Brockman, Nicole M. Reinicke, Ian W. West, Liana M. Wiepert, Amy E. Glasgow, Lindsey R. Sangaralingham, Ashley L. Holland, Christi A. Patten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, to prevent the spread of the virus, federal regulatory barriers around telemedicine were lifted, and health care institutions encouraged patients to use telemedicine, including video appointments. Many patients, however, still chose face-2-face (f2f) appointments for nonemergent clinical care. Objective: We explored patients’ personal and environmental barriers to the use of video appointments from April 2020 to December 2020. Methods: We conducted qualitative telephone interviews of Mayo Clinic patients who attended f2f appointments at the Mayo Clinic from April 2020 to December 2020 but did not utilize Mayo Clinic video appointment services during that time frame. Results: We found that, although most patients were concerned about preventing COVID-19 transmission, they trusted Mayo Clinic to keep them safe when attending f2f appointments. Many expressed that a video appointment made it difficult to establish rapport with their providers. Other common barriers to video appointments were perceived therapeutic benefits of f2f appointments, low digital literacy, and concerns about privacy and security. Conclusions: Our study provides an in-depth investigation into barriers to engaging in video appointments for nonemergent clinical care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings corroborate many barriers prevalent in the prepandemic literature and suggest that rapport barriers need to be analyzed and problem-solved at a granular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere37012
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Clinical care
  • Clinical practice
  • Healthcare
  • Outpatient
  • Pandemic
  • Patient perspective
  • Qualitative
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine
  • Video appointment
  • Virtual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics


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