Patient Experience of Using Telehealth Services during COVID-19 in Dubai Health Authority: A cross Sectional Electronic Survey
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Dubai Health Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Medicine and Health Sciences, “Dubai Health Authority - Head Quarters, Sheikh Ahmed Square”, United Arab Emirates
Oman College of Health Science- Muscat, Oman, “Directorate General of Human Resources Development, Oman, Phone:+968-24568148”, Oman
Dubai Health Authority
University of South Carolina, USA, “Department of Health Services Policy & Management, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene Street, Discovery Bldg. Suite 349, Columbia, SC 29201, United States
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A639
Background and Objective:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare systems shifted to the utilization of telehealth to ensure the continuity of healthcare services (1,2,3). Hence, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the government entity that oversees healthcare services in the Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), has adopted the telehealth model in outpatient settings. Therefore, this study aims to examine patients’ telehealth usability during COVID-19 in Dubai.

A cross-sectional study adopted Telehealth Usability Questionnaire (TUQ). A total of 64,173 participants who used telehealth services during 2020 – 2021 were recruited from the electronic medical record to participate in electronic survey from October to December 2022. The survey was administered through DHA text messaging system. The survey examined participants’ characteristics and the six domains of TUQ with a Likert scale. Frequency, percentage, and weighted mean score percentages were used as descriptive statistics to analyze this data.

A total of 1,535 participants completed the survey. The overall TUQ showed the mean age of users was 43.37 years (±11.67 SD). More than half of the users were females (65.21%), the majority were married (74.46%), of a UAE nationality (83.58%), had higher education (56.68%), and were currently working (57.13%). Consultations and COVID-19-related concerns (45.14%), medication refills (19.80%), and laboratory tests (18.24%) were the main reasons for telehealth visits. Weighted means of TUQ six domains were usefulness (87.11%), ease of use and learnability (86.98%), interface quality (85.73%), interaction quality (86.44%), reliability (79.48%), and satisfaction and future use (86.44%).

Our study revealed high levels of usability and willingness to use telehealth services as an alternative modality to in-person consultations among the participants of the survey. Our results support the implementation of telehealth services in DHA; however, further studies are required to understand the applicability of telehealth after COVID-19 and how to further improve satisfaction.

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