To evaluate patient satisfaction after integration of audio-only virtual visits into a pre-existing prenatal care schedule within a large, county-based system during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic.
We implemented audio-only prenatal virtual visits in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic within a large, county-based prenatal care system serving predominantly women with low socioeconomic status and limited resources. Using a four-question telephone survey, we surveyed a cross-section of patients who had opted to participate in virtual visits to assess their level of satisfaction surrounding audio-only visits. In addition, average clinic wait times and attendance rates by visit type were examined.
From March 17 to May 31, 2020, more than 4,000 audio-only virtual prenatal visits were completed in our system. After implementation, the percentage of visits conducted through the virtual platform gradually rose, with nearly 25% of weekly prenatal visits being performed through the virtual platform by the month of May. Clinic wait times trended downward after implementation of virtual visits (P<.001). On average, 88% of virtual prenatal visits were completed as scheduled, whereas only 82% of in-person visits were attended (P<.001). Hospital administration attempted to contact 431 patients who had participated in at least one virtual visit to assess patient satisfaction; 283 patients were reached and agreed to participate (65%). Ninety-nine percent of respondents reported that their needs were met during their audio-only virtual visits. The majority of patients preferred a combination of in-person and virtual visits for prenatal care, and patients reported many benefits with virtual visits.
Audio-only virtual prenatal visits—as a complement to in-person prenatal visits—have specific and distinct advantages compared with video-enabled telehealth in a vulnerable population of women and offer a viable option to increase access to care.