Telemedicine and other care models in pediatric rheumatology: an exploratory study of parents' perceptions of barriers to care and care preferences.
ABSTRACT: The United States pediatric rheumatology workforce is committed to a mission of providing children access to pediatric rheumatology care. With a limited number and distribution of pediatric rheumatologists, telemedicine has been proposed as one way to meet this mission, yet the adoption of this modality has been slower than expected. The purpose of this study was to explore the parent perspective on barriers to accessing pediatric rheumatology care and to explore the acceptability of telemedicine and other alternative care models.Over a period of six weeks, all new and return English-speaking parents/guardians of patients visiting a single center were offered an opportunity to complete a survey which assessed barriers to care and interest in alternative models of care. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics.Survey response rate was 72% (159/221). Twenty-eight percent (45/159) traveled more than three hours to the pediatric rheumatology clinic, and 43% (65/152) reported travel as inconvenient. An overwhelming majority of respondents (95%, 144/152) reported a preference for in-person visits over the option of telemedicine. This preference was similar regardless of whether respondents reported travel to the clinic as inconvenient vs convenient (inconvenient 92%, 60/65; convenient 97%, 84/87; p = 0.2881) and despite those reporting travel as inconvenient also reporting greater difficulty with several barriers to care. Those familiar with telemedicine were more likely to report a preference for telemedicine over in-person visits (27%, 3/11 vs 3%, 4/140; p = 0.0087). The option of an outreach clinic was acceptable to a majority (63%, 97/154); however, adult rheumatology and shared-care options were less acceptable (22%, 35/156 and 34%, 53/156 respectively).Among survey respondents, in-person visits were preferred over the option of telemedicine, even when travel was noted to be inconvenient. Telemedicine familiarity increased its acceptability. Outreach clinics were acceptable to a majority. Ultimately, the parent perspective can shape acceptable ways to address barriers and provide accessible care.
Project description:Telemedicine may transform health care by overcoming geographical and travel-associated barriers to patient care. This study assesses patient satisfaction with telemedicine for fracture care. Methods:Two groups of patients were compared from suburban/rural Pennsylvania. One group reported to a regional medical center for real-time video consultation with a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon facilitated by a physician's assistant. The other group underwent conventional outpatient clinic visits at a tertiary care hospital. The distance between the tertiary care hospital and the regional medical center was 69 miles. New or follow-up fracture patients not living in the vicinity of either medical center were included. A satisfaction survey and questionnaire were administered to both groups at the end of their visit. Results:One hundred sixty-seven patients returned the questionnaires (66 conventional and 101 telemedicine). Telemedicine visits decreased indirect and direct costs (P = 0.032). Travel costs and travel times were lower (P < 0.001) in the telemedicine group. Patient satisfaction was similar. Only 8 of 101 patients in the telemedicine cohort preferred their next visit to be a conventional follow-up. Discussion:Utilization of video consultation and trained physician assistants to provide pediatric orthopaedic care across suburban/rural areas can increase pediatric orthopaedic surgeon access and decrease travel costs while maintaining patient satisfaction.
Project description:Motor impairment and travel time have been shown to be important barriers to recruitment for Parkinson's disease (PD) clinical trials. This study determined whether use of Internet-based video communication for study visits would improve likelihood of participating in PD clinical trials.University of Utah PD clinic patients were invited to complete a survey asking if they would be willing to participate in a hypothetical research study under four different scenarios. McNemar's test was used to test the hypothesis that remote assessments would improve willingness to participate.Willingness to participate was 101/113 (87%) in the standard scenario. Willingness to participate was highest (93%; p=0.046) with most visits occurring via telemedicine at a local clinic, followed by some visits occurring via telemedicine at a local clinic (91%; p=0.157). Willingness to participate was lower with some (80%; p=0.008) or most (82%; p=0.071) visits occurring by home telemonitoring.Use of telemedicine may be an acceptable means to improve participation in clinical trials. This would need to be confirmed with the use of a larger-scale inquiry involving rural populations. Future research should assess subject or caregiver comfort and trainability with respect to computer-based technology in the home and systems barriers for wider implementation of telemedicine in neurology.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Video or telephone telemedicine can offer patients access to a clinician without arranging for transportation or spending time in a waiting room, but little is known about patient characteristics associated with choosing between telemedicine or office visits.<h4>Objective</h4>To examine patient characteristics associated with choosing a telemedicine visit vs office visit with the same primary care clinicians.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This cross-sectional study included data from 1?131?722 patients who scheduled a primary care appointment through the Kaiser Permanente Northern California patient portal between January 1, 2016, and May 31, 2018. All completed primary care appointments booked via the patient portal were identified. Only index visits without any other clinical visits within 7 days were included to define a relatively distinct patient-initiated care-seeking episode. Visits for routine physical, which are not telemedicine-eligible, were excluded. Data were analyzed from July 1, 2018, to December 31, 2019.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Patient choice between an office, video, or telephone visit. Relative risk ratios (RRRs) for patient sociodemographic characteristics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, neighborhood socioeconomic status, language preference), technology access (neighborhood residential internet, mobile portal use), visiting the patient's own personal primary care clinician, and in-person visit barriers (travel-time, parking, cost-sharing), associated with choice of video or telephone telemedicine (vs office visit).<h4>Results</h4>Of 2?178?440 patient-scheduled primary care visits scheduled by 1?131?722 patients, 86% were scheduled as office visits and 14% as telemedicine visits, with 7% of the telemedicine visits by video. Choosing telemedicine was statistically significantly associated with patient sociodemographic characteristics. For example, patients aged 65 years and over were less likely than patients aged 18 to 44 years to choose telemedicine (RRR, 0.24; 95% CI, 0.22-0.26 for video visit; RRR 0.55; 95% CI, 0.54-0.57 for telephone visit). Choosing telemedicine was also statistically significantly associated with technology access (patients living in a neighborhood with high rates of residential internet access were more likely to choose a video visit than patients whose neighborhoods had low internet access: RRR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.06-1.14); as well as in-person visit barriers (patients whose clinic had a paid parking structure were more likely to choose a telemedicine visit than patients whose facility had free parking: RRR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.41-2.05 for video visit; and RRR, 1.73, 95% CI, 1.61-1.86 for telephone visit).<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>In this cross-sectional study, patients usually chose an in-person visit when scheduling an appointment online through the portal. Telemedicine may offer the potential to reach vulnerable patient groups and improve access for patients with transportation, parking, or cost barriers to clinic visits.
Project description:Background:Despite evidence supporting telehealth provision in developed countries, there is limited evidence regarding its economic benefits for patients living in areas where access and cost present major barriers to health care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This study explores the economic benefits of telemedicine for patients, in terms of cost and times savings, and its potential role in improving chronic disease outcomes. Methods:This retrospective cross-sectional study compared telemedicine services with hypothetical in-person consultations, with a focus on patient travel time and travel cost savings. A database containing teleconsultation visits (N = 25,182) conducted at health facilities in remote regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic, was analyzed. A two-sample homoscedastic t test was used to determine differences between the two groups. A one-way sensitivity analysis was also conducted, presuming in-person teleconsultations at 90%, 75%, and 50%. Results:The study extracted data from 25,182 teleconsultation visits (12,814 males; 12,368 females). The cumulative patient savings through the program amounted to USD 9,175,132, and 1,876,146 h, or 213.1?years. A significant difference was seen between the two groups in terms of mean time savings (p-value <0.05), and a nearly significant difference was observed in terms of mean cost savings (p-value = 0.05). Conclusions:This study suggests that considerable economic benefits imparted to patients in low-resource settings of LMICs via accessing telemedicine. Telemedicine has great potential to improve chronic disease outcomes in low-resource areas by reducing socioeconomic barriers related to cost and access, and increasing uptake of services, thereby enabling early intervention and long-term management.
Project description:PURPOSE:Our purpose was to evaluate the implementation of a postoperative hand and upper extremity telemedicine program. We aimed to compare travel burden, visit time, and patient satisfaction between an initial postoperative telemedicine visit and a second conventional in-clinic visit. METHODS:Telemedicine guidelines established by our hospital system were used as inclusion criteria for this prospective study, which included patients indicated for surgery in the outpatient clinic during a 3-month period. Patients were excluded if they had wounds closed with nonabsorbable suture, remained admitted to the hospital, or required a custom orthosis at their first postoperative visit. Baseline demographics and patient-reported outcome measures were collected prior to surgery. Information pertaining to technology usage was collected for the telemedicine visit and travel information was obtained for the in-clinic visit. Patient satisfaction was recorded for both visits. RESULTS:Fifty-seven of 87 patients (66%) who met the inclusion criteria elected to participate in the study. A cell phone was utilized by 89% of patients and 88% of visits were performed from the patient's home. There were 4 technological complications during the study period (7%). Mean round-trip travel distance for the in-clinic visit was 60 miles with an average drive time of 85 minutes. Visit times were significantly shorter with telemedicine (7 minutes vs 38 minutes). Telemedicine was preferred by 90% of patients for subsequent encounters. All 4 clinical complications were recognized during the telemedicine visit. CONCLUSIONS:A telemedicine program for postoperative care after hand and upper extremity surgery decreases travel burdens associated with conventional in-clinic appointments. Telemedicine significantly decreases visit times without decreasing patient satisfaction for patients who elect to participate in remote video visits. The ability to recognize early postsurgical complications was not compromised by utilizing this technology, even during our early experience. CLINICAL RELEVANCE:Telemedicine after hand and upper extremity surgery results in high levels of patient satisfaction and decreases visit times and the travel burdens associated with conventional in-clinic appointments.
Project description:Telemedicine is an increasingly recognized option for cost-effective management of chronic conditions. We surveyed Sleep Clinic patients about their experiences and preferences regarding different forms of telemedicine. Adult Sleep Clinic patients seen between 2009 and 2011 received a brief survey either by postal mail (n = 156) or, for those with an available email address, electronically (n = 282). The overall response rate was 28.1% (n = 123 responses), with email response rates being higher than postal mail responses. The most commonly reported barriers to in-person physician visits were parking cost (44%), time away from work/school (34%), and cost of gas (26%). Whereas 89% of respondents indicated using telephone and 55% of respondents indicated using email to communicate with providers, none reported experience with video telemedicine. Despite this lack of experience, over 60% reported feeling comfortable or willing to try it. Of those who were uncomfortable about video telemedicine, the two main reasons were that in-person visits feel more natural (48%) and that the doctor might need to perform an examination (24%). More than half of respondents reported willingness to pay a copay for a video visit. Video telemedicine represents a feasible option for chronic sleep disorders management.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Over-occupancy at the two tertiary pediatric care hospitals in Alberta, Canada is steadily increasing with simultaneous decline in occupancy of pediatric beds at regional hospitals. Over-occupancy negatively impacts timeliness and potentially, the safety of patient care provided at these two tertiary hospitals. In contrast, underutilization of pediatric beds at regional hospitals poses the risk of losing beds provincially, dilution of regional pediatric expertise and potential erosion of confidence by regional providers. One approach to the current situation in provincial pediatric care capacity is development of telemedicine based innovative models of care that increase the population of patients cared for in regional pediatric beds. A Telemedicine Rounding and Consultation (TRAC) model involves discussing patient care or aspects of their care using telemedicine by employing visual displays, audio and information sharing between tertiary and regional hospitals. To facilitate implementation of a TRAC model, it is essential to understand the perceived barriers among its potential users in local context. The current study utilizes qualitative methodologies to assess these perceived clinician barriers to inform a future pilot and evaluation of this innovative virtual pediatric tertiary-regional collaborative care model in Alberta.<h4>Methods</h4>We will use a qualitative descriptive design guided by the Theoretical Domain Framework (TDF) to systematically identify the tertiary and regional clinical stakeholder's perceived barriers and enablers to the implementation of proposed TRAC model of inpatient pediatric care. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with pediatricians, nurses and allied health professionals, administrators, and family members will be conducted to identify key barriers and enablers to implementation of the TRAC model using TDF. Appropriate behaviour change techniques will be identified to develop potential intervention strategies to overcome identified barriers. These intervention strategies will facilitate implementation of the TRAC model during the pilot phase.<h4>Discussion</h4>The proposed TRAC model has the potential to address the imbalance between utilization of regional and tertiary inpatient pediatric facilities in Alberta. Knowledge generated regarding barriers and enablers to the TRAC model and the process outlined in this study could be used by health services researchers to develop similar telemedicine-based interventions in Canada and other parts of the world.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>Telemedicine is increasingly used to provide outpatient pediatric neurology consultations in underserved communities. Although telemedicine clinics have been shown to improve access, little is known about how they alter patients' utilization of hospital services.<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate the association between access to telemedicine clinics and hospital utilization among underserved children with neurologic conditions.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This retrospective cross-sectional study included 4169 patients who received outpatient care from pediatric neurologists affiliated with an academic children's hospital in California between January 1, 2009, and July 31, 2017, either in person or using telemedicine.<h4>Exposures</h4>Consultation modality (telemedicine or in person) in the outpatient neurology clinics.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Demographic and clinical variables were abstracted from the hospital's electronic medical records. The association between the modality of outpatient neurology care and patients' utilization of the emergency department and hospitalizations was evaluated. Both all-cause and neurologic condition-related hospital utilization were analyzed using multivariable negative binomial regression in overall and matched samples.<h4>Results</h4>The telemedicine cohort comprised 378 patients (211 [55.8%] male), and the in-person cohort comprised 3791 patients (2090 [55.1%] male). The mean (SD) age at the first encounter was 7.4 (5.4) years for the telemedicine cohort and 7.8 (5.1) years for the in-person cohort. The telemedicine cohort was more likely than the in-person cohort to have nonprivate insurance (public insurance, self-pay, or uninsured), lower education, and lower household income. The rates of all-cause and neurologic hospital encounters were lower among children who received pediatric neurology consultations over telemedicine compared with children who received care in the in-person clinics (5.7 [95% CI, 3.5-8.0] vs 20.1 [95% CI, 18.1-22.1] per 100 patient-years and 3.7 [95% CI, 2.0-5.3] vs 8.9 [95% CI, 7.8-10.0] per 100 patient-years, respectively; P?<?.001). Even after adjusting for demographic and clinical factors, the telemedicine cohort had a lower risk of hospital encounters (emergency department visits and admissions) with an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 0.57 (95% CI, 0.38-0.88) for all-cause encounters and an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 0.60 (95% CI, 0.36-0.99) for neurologic encounters. After matching on travel time to the neurology clinic, the adjusted incidence rate ratio was 0.19 (95% CI, 0.04-0.83) for all-cause admissions and 0.14 (95% CI, 0.02-0.82) for neurologic admissions.<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>Pediatric neurology care through real-time, audiovisual telemedicine consultations was associated with lower hospital utilization compared with in-person consultations, suggesting that high-cost hospital encounters can be prevented by improving subspecialty access.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The receipt of remote clinical care for children via telecommunications (pediatric telemedicine) appears to improve access to and quality of care in U.S. emergency departments (EDs), but the actual prevalence and characteristics of pediatric telemedicine receipt remain unclear. We determined the prevalence and current applications of pediatric telemedicine in U.S. EDs, focusing on EDs that received telemedicine from clinicians at other facilities. METHODS:We surveyed all 5,375 U.S. EDs to characterize emergency care in 2016. We then randomly surveyed 130 (39%) of the 337 EDs who reported receiving pediatric telemedicine. The second survey was administered by phone to ED directors primarily. It confirmed that the ED received pediatric telemedicine services in 2017 and asked about ED staffing and the nature, purpose, and concerns with pediatric telemedicine implementation. RESULTS:The first survey (4,507/5,375, 84% response) showed that 337 (8%) EDs reported receiving pediatric telemedicine. Among the randomly sampled EDs completing the second survey (107/130, 82% response), 96 (90%) confirmed 2016 use and 89 (83%) confirmed 2017 use. Reasons for discontinuation included technical and scheduling concerns. Almost all who confirmed their pediatric telemedicine use in 2017 also reported 24/7 availability (98%). The most widely reported use was for patient placement and transfer coordination (80%). Many EDs (39%) reported no challenges with implementing pediatric telemedicine and described its utility. However, the most frequently reported challenges were process concerns (30%), such as concerns about slowing or interrupting providers' work flow and technological concerns (14%). CONCLUSION:Few EDs receive telemedicine for the delivery of pediatric emergency care nationally. Among EDs that do use telemedicine for pediatric care, many report process concerns. Addressing these barriers through focused education or interventions may support EDs in further developing and optimizing this technological adjunct to pediatric emergency care.
Project description:PURPOSE:Telemedicine was rapidly implemented for initial consultations and radiation treatment planning in the wake of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In this study, we explore utilization of and physician perspectives on this approach in an attempt to identify patient populations that may benefit most from virtual care. METHODS AND MATERIALS:This is a mixed-methods study with a convergent design. Approximately 6 to 8 weeks after implementation of telemedicine, all radiation oncologists in a single academic radiation oncology department were invited to participate in either semistructured interviews with embedded survey questions or a concurrently administered survey only. Rapid qualitative analysis was used to identify common themes, and quantitative data was assessed using descriptive statistics and univariable analyses. RESULTS:At the apex of the pandemic, 92% of radiation oncology visits were conducted via telemedicine. In total, 51 of 61 radiation oncologists participated in the study (response rate 84%). Most (71%) reported no difference in ability to treat cancer appropriately via telemedicine, which was more common among specialized physicians (P = .01) but not those with higher visit volume or years of experience. Over half (55%) perceived no difference or even improvement in overall visit quality with telemedicine. Virtual visits were deemed acceptable for a median of 70% to 96% of patients, which varied by disease site. Need for physical examination, and availability of an acceptable proxy, factored into telemedicine acceptability. Most (88%) found telemedicine better than expected, but opinions were split on how telemedicine would affect physician burnout. Almost all (96%) foresaw a role for telemedicine beyond the pandemic and would opt for a median of 50% (interquartile range 20%-66%) of visits conducted via telemedicine. CONCLUSIONS:Among radiation oncologists in an academic setting, telemedicine was perceived to be highly appropriate and acceptable for most patients. Future studies should focus on identifying the 5% to 30% of patients whose care may be optimized with in-person visits, and if there is alignment with patient preferences.