Healthcare Professionals and Telehealth Usability during COVID-19
Keywords:COVID-19, Florida, Health Professionals, Telehealth, Telehealth Usability, Telemedicine
Objective: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many other health providers needed to rapidly adopt telehealth services to ensure continuity of patient care, without the opportunity to extensively evaluate the usability of the adopted technology. Therefore, this study aims to examine health professionals’ telehealth usability during COVID-19 in Florida.
Design: This cross-sectional study employed the Telehealth Usability Questionnaire (TUQ) to licensed healthcare providers in Florida in June 2020.
Setting and Participants: A total of 399,660 selected health professionals with Florida licensure were recruited from open-access Florida healthcare to participate in a Qualtrics web-based survey. A total of 1,868 health professionals completed the survey. Multiple linear and mixed regression models were applied to analyze the overall and subdomain scores from TUQ.
Main Outcome Measures: Telehealth usability.
Results: The analysis of the overall TUQ score showed younger, female healthcare professionals, and participants who reported an increase in telehealth usage during pandemic had a significantly higher overall TUQ score. Compared with the score from physicians and nurses, the scores from the mental health group and social work group were significantly higher, while the score rehabilitation group was significantly lower. Analysis of the subdomain scores was consistent with the overall scores.
Conclusion: The findings from this study indicate that the health professionals’ telehealth usability is related to age, gender, and the change of telehealth usage during the COVID-19 pandemic. While pandemics represent only one possible impetus for the healthcare system to swiftly switch to telehealth platforms, each profession should consider providing adequate resources to accommodate the need for change.
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