Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic served as an impetus for the rapid expansion of telehealth. In this study, we examined the experience of rapid transition to telemental health (TMH) within The Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, a large, urban, Federally Qualified Health Center, in the 3 months after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: We administered surveys to clinicians and patients who utilized TMH between March 16, 2020 and July 16, 2020. Patients were sent a web-based survey via email or received a phone survey (for those without email) with four languages choices: English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, or Simplified Chinese.
Results: The majority (79%) of clinicians (n = 83) rated the experience of TMH as “excellent” or “good,” and felt that they could establish and maintain the patient relationship through TMH. Four thousand seven hundred seventy-two survey invitations were sent out to patients, and 654 (13.7%) responded. Ninety percent reported that they were satisfied with the service they received and rated TMH as better or the same as in-person care (81.6%) with a high mean satisfaction score (4.5 out of 5). Patients were more likely to rate TMH as better or the same as in-person care relative to the clinicians.
Conclusions: These results are consistent with several recent studies that have explored patient satisfaction with TMH during the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrate that both clinicians and patients experienced a high degree of satisfaction with mental health care delivered virtually compared with face-to-face encounters.
Aaron Reliford, Emily Zhang, Olga Lanina, Sharifa Z. Williams, Navin Sanichar, Shabana Khan, Isaac Dapkins, and W. Gordon Frankle.Patient and Clinician Satisfaction with the Early Implementation of Telemental Health Services in an Urban Behavioral Health Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic.Telemedicine and e-Health.ahead of print http://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2022.0480