Year 2021
October 2021


Abstract Title
A descriptive study for reasons for unsuccessful doctors’ video consultations at Toa Payoh Polyclinic

K.W.TAN1, D.L.W.NG1, K.W.KEE1 


NHG Polyclinics1 

Background & Hypothesis

NHG Polyclinics embarked on video-consultations as a new model of care since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce face-to-face visits to the polyclinic for patients with chronic diseases.  Apart from regulatory constraints and NHGP’s exclusion criteria, we aimed to understand the common reasons that might result in unsuccessful video consultations.


We collected all unsuccessful video consultations at Toa Payoh Polyclinic from January to June 2021 and reviewed the reasons for an unsuccessful video-consultation, defined as a termination or rescheduling of the video consultation, or for conversion of the video consultation to an in-person consultation.


From January to June 2021 at Toa Payoh Polyclinic, 1541 video consultations were conducted, of which 92 (6.0%) were unsuccessful. The mean age was 64.4±16.8 years. The commonest reason was because patients had acute symptoms which required an in-person review (53.3%). Other reasons included uncontactable patients (26.1%), chronic conditions needing an in-person review (9.8%), patients not present during consultation (4.3%), technical issues (2.2%), and patients last reviewed more than a year ago (1.1%).

Discussion & Conclusion

This observational study provides early insight into common reasons for unsuccessful video consultations, and identifies potential areas for improvement in our existing processes. Notably, language barrier was not a reason for unsuccessful video-consultation. With more rigorous studies incorporating additional data variables, we would be able to refine our recruitment criteria to avoid unsuccessful video consultations.