Stud Health Technol Inform. 2023 Oct 20;309:199-203. doi: 10.3233/SHTI230778.
Health disparities between urban and rural America have been studied extensively, and findings consistently show many inequities. The objective of this study was to evaluate patient experiences and utilization among patients in North Carolina who use telemedicine. A retrospective cohort study was performed to examine the utilization and satisfaction of patients using a virtual care service at a Southeastern Medical Center in the U.S. Of 1974 telemedicine patients, 1366 (79.3%) were female, 1046(60.7%) were between 35-64 years, 913(53%) had insurance coverage. Statistically significant differences between rural and urban patients in how patients rated both their provider (p<0.01) and overall telemedicine experience (p<0.01). Our findings showed high satisfaction scores among both rural and urban communities in using the telemedicine platform with slightly higher scores among rural patients, which shows the need for on-demand telemedicine to increase health access and patient outcomes among rural communities.