Assessment of Virtual healthcare services among medical staff and patients and the usefulness of creating virtual healthcare application in Saudi Arabia
Author(s): Salem Saeed Alghamdi*, Mansor Abdualziz bin Hashr, Safar Mublish Albaqami, Abdulrahman Tajaldeen, Rowa Aljondi and Wala Ibrahim Alzahrani
Background: Virtual healthcare services defined as services concern the priority for ensuring receipt of time, integrated patient center-care. It composes of multiple services including electronic health record, mobile technology, patient health portal and telehealth such as instant audio, video and secure messaging.
Material and methods: Online questionnaires were designed to evaluate the feasibility of healthcare services by using an application. Two surveys were prepared and targeted two main groups: patients and medical staff. The participated medical staff is medical doctors, nurses, radiographers and social workers.
Results: Three benefits were mentioned by most of the participants: saving money (by 72%), providing the right care at the right time (64%), saving time (63%). Moreover, two advantages were mentioned by around two-thirds of the participants: (1) doing the virtual visit nearly at any place without the need to travel (2) being easier option for elderly people. On the other hand, "eliminating the concern about exposure to illness" was mentioned by a considerable proportion of the participants (about 40%).
Conclusion: Virtual healthcare services becoming more preferable to patients and medical staff due to its feasibility, convenient, save time and money and less direct contact to the patients due to pandemic.