In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care modalities such as video consultations have been rapidly developed to provide safe health care and to minimize the risk of spread. The purpose of our study is to explore Spanish healthcare professionals' perceptions about the implementation of video consultations. Based on the testimonies of 53 professionals, different categories emerged related to the four identified themes: benefits of video consultations (for professionals, patients, and the health system, and compared to phone calls), negative aspects (inherent to new technologies and the risk of a perceived distancing from the professional), difficulties associated with the implementation of video consultations (technological difficulties, lack of technical skills and refusal to use video consultation among professionals and patients), and the need for training (technological, nontechnical, and social-emotional skills, and adaptation of technical skills). Additionally, the interviewees indicated that this new modality of health care may be extended to a broader variety of patients and clinical settings. Therefore, since video consultations are becoming more widespread, it would be advisable for health policies and systems to support this modality of health care, promoting their implementation and guaranteeing their operability, equal access and quality.
Keywords: COVID-19; clinical skills; healthcare providers; implementation; interpersonal skills; perception; qualitative research; telemedicine; training; video consultation.