PURPOSE The need to rapidly implement telemedicine in primary care during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was addressed differently by various practices. Using qualitative data from semistructured interviews with primary care practice leaders, we aimed to report commonly shared experiences and unique perspectives regarding telemedicine implementation and evolution/maturation since March 2020. METHODS We administered a semistructured, 25-minute, virtual interview with 25 primary care practice leaders from 2 health systems in 2 states (New York and Florida) included in PCORnet, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute clinical research network. Questions were guided by 3 frameworks (health information technology evaluation, access to care, and health information technology life cycle) and involved practice leaders’ perspectives on the process of telemedicine implementation in their practice, with a specific focus on the process of maturation and facilitators/barriers. Two researchers conducted inductive coding of qualitative data open-ended questions to identify common themes. Transcripts were electronically generated by virtual platform software. RESULTS Twenty-five interviews were administered for practice leaders representing 87 primary care practices in 2 states. We identified the following 4 major themes: (1) the ease of telemedicine adoption depended on both patients’ and clinicians’ prior experience using virtual health platforms, (2) regulation of telemedicine varied across states and differentially affected the rollout processes, (3) visit triage rules were unclear, and (4) there were positive and negative effects of telemedicine on clinicians and patients. CONCLUSIONS Practice leaders identified several challenges to telemedicine implementation and highlighted 2 areas, including telemedicine visit triage guidelines and telemedicine- specific staffing and scheduling protocols, for improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Family Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2023


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • East Coast
  • Primary care
  • Primary health care
  • Telemedicine


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