During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, cardiologists have attempted to minimize risks to their patients by using telehealth to provide continuing care. Rapid implementation of video consultations in outpatient clinics for patients with heart disease can be challenging. We employed a design thinking tool called a customer journey to explore challenges and opportunities when using video communication software in the cardiology department of a regional hospital. Interviews were conducted with 5 patients with implanted devices, a nurse, an information technology manager and two cardiologists. Three lessons were identified based on these challenges and opportunities. Attention should be given to the ease of use of the technology, the meeting features, and the establishment of the connection between the cardiologist and the patient. Further, facilitating the role of an assistant (or virtual assistant) with the video consultation software who can manage the telehealth process may improve the success of video consultations. Employing design thinking to implement video consultations in cardiology and to further implement telehealth is crucial to build a resilient health care system that can address urgent needs beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Metadata
Keywords cardiology, COVID-19, design thinking, patient, telemedicine, user experience
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.2196/19771, hdl.handle.net/1765/128247
Journal Journal of Medical Internet Research
Citation
Vandekerckhove, P. (Pieter), Vandekerckhove, Y. (Yves), Tavernier, R. (Rene), De Jaegher, K. (Kelly), & de Mul, M. (2020). Leveraging User Experience to Improve Video Consultations in a Cardiology Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Initial Insights. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(6). doi:10.2196/19771