JMIR formative research, Volume 6, Issue 7, 28 4 2022, Pages e38263 COVID-box Experiences of Patients and Health Care Professionals (COVID-box Project): Single-Center, Retrospective, Observational Study. Dirikgil E, Brons K, Duindam M, Groeneveld GH, Geelhoed JJM, Heringhaus C, van der Boog PJM, Rabelink TJ, Bos WJW, Chavannes NH, Atsma DE, Teng YKO
During the COVID-19 pandemic, several home monitoring programs have described the success of reducing hospital admissions, but only a few studies have investigated the experiences of patients and health care professionals.
The objective of our study was to determine patients' and health care professionals' experiences and satisfaction with employing the COVID-box.
In this single-center, retrospective, observational study, patients and health care professionals were asked to anonymously fill out multiple-choice questionnaires with questions on a 5-point or 10-point Likert scale. The themes addressed by patients were the sense of reassurance and safety, experiences with teleconsultations, their appreciation for staying at home, and the instructions for using the COVID-box. The themes addressed by health care professionals who treated patients with the COVID-box were the characteristics of the COVID-box, the technical support service and general satisfaction, and their expectations and support for this telemonitoring concept. Scores were interpreted as insufficient (≤2 or ≤5, respectively), sufficient (3 or 6-7, respectively), or good (≥4 or ≥8, respectively) on a 5-point or 10-point Likert scale.
A total of 117 patients and 25 health care professionals filled out the questionnaires. The median score was 4 (IQR 4-5) for the sense of safety, the appreciation for staying at home, and experiences with teleconsultations, with good scores from 76.5% (88/115), 86% (56/65), and 83.6% (92/110) of the patients, respectively. Further, 74.4% (87/117) of the patients scored the home monitoring program with a score of ≥8. Health care professionals scored the COVID-box with a minimum median score of 7 (IQR 7-10) on a 10-point scale for all domains (ie, the characteristics of the COVID-box and the technical support service and general satisfaction). For the sense of safety, user-friendliness, and additional value of the COVID-box, the median scores were 8 (IQR 8-10), 8 (IQR 7-9), and 10 (IQR 8-10), respectively, with good scores from 86% (19/22), 75% (15/20), and 96% (24/25) of the health care professionals, respectively. All health care professionals (25/25, 100%) gave a score of ≥8 for supporting this home monitoring concept, with a median score of 10 (IQR 10-10).
The positive experiences and satisfaction of involved users are key factors for the successful implementation of a novel eHealth solution. In our study, patients, as well as health care professionals, were highly satisfied with the use of the home monitoring program-the COVID-box project. Remote home monitoring may be an effective approach in cases of increased demand for hospital care and high pressure on health care systems.