How safe is virtual healthcare?

Reema Harrison, Elizabeth Manias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Undeniable opportunities are posed by virtual models of care that address long-standing health system sustainability challenges and improve access. Virtual models of care describe preventive, diagnostic and treatment practices without faceto- face contact with healthcare providers. Common forms of virtual care that have rapidly progressed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic include health provision via telephone or video-conferencing software, the use of wearable monitoring devices, digitized health information and remote (in-home) monitoring [1]. Virtual care has created healthcare contexts with further complexity as a result of novel care settings and technological systems that require different models and processes of care [2]. There may also be greater presence of family members, members of the public and technical support staff during healthcare encounters. These components collectively create highly unpredictable care environments. We examine the key risk areas of virtual healthcare for patient safety based on emerging evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbermzac021
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal for Quality in Health Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • digital health
  • equity
  • healthcare quality
  • patient safety
  • virtual models of care

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