Date of Conferral





Information Systems and Technology


Stephen Tippins


Telehealth and remote medical treatments have begun to be more commonly used in healthcare systems. Researchers have theorized that providers' abilities to treat patients are not directly tied to the proximity of the patient to the doctor, but by the identification and treatment of the patient's symptoms. Although the treatment and cure rates are being established within individual health systems and professional medical associations, empirical research is lacking regarding patient satisfaction with this remote treatment situation. The purpose of this quantitative study was to address this gap by examining satisfaction ratings of patients between virtual provider visits and face-to-face provider visits. The Clinician & Group Survey developed by the Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (CAHPS), through the United States government department, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, measured patient satisfaction. Data from health care patients in the United States (N=8854) were randomly selected from the CAHPS data set containing 457,418 encounters. Of this number, 4,427 unique patient encounters were with face-to-face health care visits and 4,427 unique patient encounters were with telehealth providers. The ANOVA results showed no significant differences in patient satisfaction management between the availability of providers to meet face-to-face with patients who met with providers in a telehealth setting. Possible social change implications are a shift from face-to-face visits to virtual visits structured in the need to shift all patients from the standard office visit system to the on-demand network opportunity that virtual telehealth and mobile commerce health care offers to allow the benefit of technology to assist these patients.