Change in Needs for Video Consultations in Times of a Pandemic

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2020.0317-0324

german translation / full article

Alexander Waschkau, Jost Steinhäuser

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 family medicine pandemic telemedicine video consultations

BackgroundThe occurrence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the associated pandemic situation has led to a surge in the use of video consultations in many countries. The aim of this work was to identify indications for a change in the use or the introduction of new telemedical applications in family physicians’ practices and, in a second step, to provide an overview of currently available certified video consultation providers in Germany.MethodsSemi-structured, guide-based telephone interviews were conducted with physicians from research practices who took part in a project to implement telemedicine. Furthermore, an internet search to gather information about providers of medical video consultations that were certified in June 2020 and thus approved for billing with the statutory health insurance associations was collected and structured.ResultsA total of 13 interviews were conducted with physicians from ten practices. The introduction of video consultations was already completed or in the final phase of introduction in nine practices. With the exception of one practice, everyone planned the long-term use of this telemedical application. However, telemedicine-based delegated home visits by medical assistants hardly took place. In June 2020 there were 27 certified providers of medical video consultations in Germany. The costs for the practices were between 0.00 Euro and 198.00 Euro per month.ConclusionsThe pandemic could be a catalyst for the implementation of telemedicine in Germany. At the same time, the high level of user-friendliness and acceptance among patients and physicians’ practices could ensure the ongoing use in the future.Keywordsfamily medicine; telemedicine; video consultations;SARS-CoV-2; pandemic

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(State: 14.07.2020)

Latest Issue 7-8/2020

In Focus

  • Video Consultations in Times of a Pandemic
  • Patient and Family Engaged Care“– Does that Fit for Germany?
  • Guideline Orientation of Family Physicians