The adoption of virtual consultations, catalysed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has transformed the delivery of primary care services. Owing to their rapid global proliferation, there is a need to comprehensively evaluate the impact of virtual consultations on all aspects of care quality.
This study aims to evaluate the impact of virtual consultations on the quality of primary care. It found that virtual consultations may be as effective as face-to-face care and have a potentially positive impact on the efficiency and timeliness of care; however, there is a considerable lack of evidence on the impacts on patient safety, equity, and patient-centeredness, highlighting areas where future research efforts should be devoted. Capitalising on real-world data, as well as clinical trials, is crucial to ensure that the use of virtual consultations is tailored according to patient needs and is inclusive of the intended end users. Data collection methods that are bespoke to the primary care context and account for patient characteristics are necessary to generate a stronger evidence base to inform future virtual care policies.