Patients living in rural areas often need to travel long distances for access to specialist care. To increase access to specialist care, video consultation between patients in primary healthcare and specialist care has been used. In order for this new method to be developed and used to the fullest, it is important to understand healthcare personnel’s experiences with this intervention.
The aim of this study was to describe healthcare personnel’s experiences using video consultation in their work in primary healthcare.
A mixed methods design was used, and the data were analysed using qualitative and quantitative analysis methods. Interviews were conducted with eight general practitioners and one district nurse, all of whom had conducted a video consultation with a patient and a specialist physician or a cardiac specialist nurse. After each video consultation, the participants completed a consultation report/questionnaire.
Healthcare personnel considered video consultation to provide quicker access to specialist care for the patient, and greater security when the video consultation encounter was conducted at their own primary healthcare centre. They considered video consultation an opportunity to provide education and for the patients to ask questions.
Video consultation is a satisfactory tool for healthcare personnel, and the technology is a new, useful method, especially for the district nurses. Further, video consultation is an opportunity for healthcare personnel to learn. However, for it to work as an accepted method, the technology must function well and be user friendly. It must also be clear that it is beneficial for the patients and the healthcare personnel.