During the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, patient care modalities changed from in-person to telehealth to comply with physical distancing guidelines. Our study uniquely examines operations data from three distinct periods: before the transition to telehealth, early transition from in-person care to telehealth, and the eventual adoption of telehealth. We present a comparative analysis of outpatient nutrition clinic scheduling outcomes based on care delivery modality. We used descriptive statistics to report means and variance and frequencies. We used inferential statistics to make comparisons: categorical data were compared using chi-square analysis with post-hoc comparisons using a z-test with alpha at 0.05. Means of continuous variables were compared using ANOVA with Tukey HSD post-hoc analysis. We found patient demographics remained widely unchanged across the three distinct periods as the demand for telehealth visits increased, with a notable rise in return patient visits, signaling both adaptability across the patient population and acceptance of the telehealth modality. These analyses along with evidence from the included literature review point to many the benefits of telehealth, thus telehealth as a healthcare delivery modality is here to stay. Our work serves as a foundation for future studies in this field, provides information for decision-makers in telehealth-related strategic planning, and can be utilized in advocacy for the extension of telehealth coverage.
Cancellation rates, Operations research, Return patient visits, Scheduling outcomes, Telehealth
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Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging
Katelyn Humbert, Kasuen Mauldin, and Dania Saarony. "A comparative analysis of outpatient nutrition clinic scheduling outcomes based on in-person and telehealth patient care delivery modalities" Healthcare Analytics (2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.health.2023.100163