Telemedicine, In-Person Visits Show High Diagnostic Concordance

Variance seen by specialty, with lower concordance for primary care

HealthDay News — Telemedicine and in-person diagnoses of new clinical complaints yield high diagnostic concordance, according to a study published online September 2 in JAMA Network Open.

Bart M. Demaerschalk, MD, from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Phoenix, and colleagues compared the concordance of provisional diagnoses established at a video telemedicine visit to diagnoses established at an in-person visit for patients presenting with a new clinical problem. The analysis included 2393 patients seen at multiple sites (December 2020 to June 2021) within a single health care system.

The researchers found that the provisional diagnosis established over video telemedicine visit was concordant with the in-person reference standard diagnosis in 86.9% of cases. The concordance of diagnostic codes ranged from 64.7% for diseases of the ear and mastoid process to 96.8% for neoplasms. By specialty, diagnostic concordance ranged from 77.3% for otorhinolaryngology to 96.0% for psychiatry. Compared with primary care, specialty care was significantly more likely to result in video telemedicine diagnoses concordant with a subsequent in-person visit.

“These findings suggest that video telemedicine visits yield a high degree of diagnostic concordance to in-person visits for most new clinical concerns,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text