Document Type : Research Article
Background: Telemedicine and virtual care have rapidly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the ministry of health in Saudi Arabia has adopted telemedicine to increase access to healthcare services and overcome geographical barriers. Our study aimed to measure patient satisfaction with virtual primary health care in the governmental primary health care centers in Al-Ahsa, and study possible predictors for better patient satisfaction. Methods: A cross-sectional study was done among patients who had visited virtual clinics in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia primary healthcare centers. Everyone who had at least one virtual visit between JAN 2020 and MARCH 2022 received an open-source questionnaire. Demographic information, level of satisfaction, and inquiries about their virtual clinic experience were all collected. The Mann-Whitney U test and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used to compare computed frequencies and percentages for categorical variables between groups. Results: The questionnaire was completed by 391 patients, 53.5% of whom were female. The most frequently used virtual clinics were family medicine clinics. The inability to meet the healthcare professional face-to-face was cited by 54% of participants as the most significant disadvantage of virtual care. Patients' overall satisfaction with virtual clinics was 68.1%. Patient satisfaction was significantly correlated with age group, level of education, and being well-informed about the use of telemedicine. Conclusion: According to this study, virtual clinics gained a high level of satisfaction in Saudi Arabia. Our research found that satisfaction was related to age, education, and the type of clinic used. Future studies are recommended to be done in different areas of Saudi Arabia.