Looking Through a Different Lens: Patient Satisfaction With Telemedicine in Delivering Pediatric Fracture Care.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:BACKGROUND:Role substitution is a strategy employed to assist health services manage the growing demand for musculoskeletal care. Corticosteroid injection is a common treatment in this population but the efficacy of its prescription and delivery by physiotherapists has not been established against orthopaedic standards. This paper investigates whether corticosteroid injection given by a physiotherapist for shoulder pain is as clinically and cost effective as that from an orthopaedic surgeon. METHODS:A double blind non-inferiority randomized controlled trial was conducted in an Australian public hospital orthopaedic outpatient service, from January 2013 to June 2014. Adults with a General Practitioner referral to Orthopaedics for shoulder pain received subacromial corticosteroid and local anaesthetic injection prescribed and delivered independently by a physiotherapist or a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. The main outcome measure was total Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) score at baseline, six and 12 weeks, applying a non-inferiority margin of 15 points. Secondary outcomes tested for superiority included pain, shoulder movement, perceived improvement, adverse events, satisfaction, quality of life and costs. RESULTS:278 participants were independently assessed by the physiotherapist and the orthopaedic surgeon, with 64 randomised (physiotherapist 33, orthopaedic surgeon 31). There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between groups. Non-inferiority of injection by the physiotherapist was declared from total SPADI scores at 6 and 12 weeks (upper limit of the 95% one-sided confidence interval 13.34 and 7.17 at 6 and 12 weeks, respectively). There were no statistically significant differences between groups on any outcome measures at 6 or 12 weeks. From the perspective of the health funder, the physiotherapist was less expensive. CONCLUSIONS:Corticosteroid injection for shoulder pain, provided by a suitably qualified physiotherapist is at least as clinically effective, and less expensive, compared with similar care delivered by an orthopaedic surgeon. Policy makers and service providers should consider implementing this model of care. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry 12612000532808.
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:BACKGROUND:Telemedicine (interconsultation between primary and hospital care teams) has been operating in the counties of Central Catalonia Bages, Moianès and Berguedà since 2011, specializing in teledermatology, teleulcers, teleophthalmology and teleaudiometries. For the period until the end of 2019, a total of 52,198 visits were recorded. OBJECTIVE:To analyze the differential costs between telemedicine and usual care in a semi-urban environment. METHODOLOGY:A cost-minimization evaluation, including direct and indirect costs from a societal perspective, distinguishing healthcare and user's costs, was carried out over a three-month period. RESULTS:Telemedicine saved € 780,397 over the period analyzed. A differential cost favorable to telemedicine of about € 15 per visit was observed, with the patient being the largest beneficiary of this saving (by 85%) in terms of shorter waiting times and travel costs. From the healthcare system perspective, moving the time spent in a hospital care consultation to primary care is efficient in terms of the total time devoted per patient. In social terms and in this context, telemedicine is more efficient than usual care. CONCLUSION:Allowing users to save time in terms of consultation and travel is the main driver of interconsultation between primary and hospital care savings in a semi-urban context. The telemedicine service is also economically favorable for the healthcare system, enabling it to provide a more agile service, which also benefits healthcare professionals.
Project description:Background:Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a significant global public health and economic burden. DR accounts for approximately 15-17% of all cases of total blindness in the USA and Europe. Telemedicine is a new intervention for DR screening, however, there is not enough evidence to support its cost-effectiveness. The aim of this study is to review the most recent published literature on economic evaluations of telemedicine in DR screening and summarize the evidence on the cost-effectiveness of this technology. Methods:A systematic search of PubMed, Embase and Google Scholar for relevant articles published between January 2010 and January 2020. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: (1) recruited subjects with either type 1, type 2 diabetes (2) evaluated telemedicine technology (3) patients underwent primary screening for DR (4) compared a telemedicine-based intervention with standard care (5) performed an economic evaluation or provided sufficient data for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the technology used. Results:Of 2238 articles screened, seven studies were included. Four of the studies were conducted in developed countries: The United States, Singapore and two studies in Canada. Three studies were conducted in developing countries: India, Brazil and South Africa. The patient populations in all studies were diabetic patients over the age of 18, previously not screened for DR. All seven studies used a telemedicine program which included capturing a retinal image and subsequently transmitting it to an ocular imaging center to assess the severity of DR. All studies compared telemedicine to a standard screening method for DR, including the option of no screening as standard of care. Although telemedicine requires initial and maintenance costs, it has the potential to provide significant cost savings by increasing patients' working ability, increasing independent living ability, increasing quality of life and reducing travel costs. Conclusions:Diabetic retinopathy telemedicine technology has the potential to provide significant cost savings, especially in low-income populations and rural patients with high transportation costs.
Project description:PURPOSE OF REVIEW:The purpose of this review is to describe the determinants of satisfaction with telemedicine (TM) and how they compare with in-person visits from both the perspective of patients and of providers. RECENT FINDINGS:The use of TM will expand only if patients and providers are at least as satisfied with it as they are with in-person visits. Since deviations from expected care can result in reduced satisfaction regardless of the quality of the visit or objective medical outcomes, it is important to understand and to help form those expectations when possible. Patients consistently report 95-100% satisfaction rate with TM when compared with in-person appointments. They tend to cite the convenience of decreased travel times and costs as the main drivers for satisfaction with TM. Providers tend to be satisfied with TM if they have input into its development, there is administrative support, the technology is reliable and easy to use, and if there is adequate reimbursement for its use. Satisfaction with TM is necessary for adoption of this new technology. To improve satisfaction it is important to consider factors that drive it both for patients and for providers.
Project description:Telemedicine applications are increasingly being introduced in patient care in various disciplines, including clinical genetics, mainly to increase access to care and to reduce time and costs for patients and professionals. Most telegenetics reports describe applications in large geographical areas, showing positive patients' and professionals' satisfaction. One economic analysis published thus far reported lower costs than in-person care. We hypothesized that telegenetics can also be beneficial from the professional's view in relatively small geographical areas. We performed a pilot study in the Northern Netherlands of 51 home-based online counseling sessions for cardiogenetic and oncogenetic cascade screening, and urgent prenatal counseling. Previously, we showed patient satisfaction, anxiety, and perceived control of online counseling to be comparable to in-person counseling. This study focuses on expectations, satisfaction, and practical evaluations of the involved counselors, and the impact in terms of time and costs. Most counselors expected disadvantages of online counseling for themselves and their patients, mainly concerning insufficient non-verbal communication; few expected advantages for themselves. Afterwards, counselors additionally raised the disadvantage of insufficient verbal communication, and reported frequent technical problems. Their overall mean telemedicine satisfaction itemscore was 3.38 before, and 2.95 afterwards, being afterwards slightly below the minimum level we set for a satisfactory result. We estimated reduced time and costs by online counseling with about 8% and 10-12%, respectively. We showed online genetic counseling to be effective, feasible and cost-efficient, but technical improvements are needed to increase counselors' satisfaction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Pediatric emergency telemedicine consultations have been shown to provide support to community emergency departments treating critically ill pediatric patients. However, despite the recognized value of telemedicine, adoption has been slow. To determine why clinicians frequently do not use telemedicine when it is available for pediatric patients, as well as to learn how to improve telemedicine programs, we conducted a qualitative study using stakeholder interviews. METHODS:We conducted a qualitative study using grounded theory methodology, with in-depth interviews of referring and accepting physicians and referring, transport, and transfer center nurses. We analyzed data iteratively and adapted the interview guide based on early interviews. We solicited feedback from the participants on the conceptual model. RESULTS:Sixteen interviews were conducted; all respondents had been involved in a telemedicine consultation at least five times, with some having used telemedicine more than 30 times. Analysis resulted in three themes: 1) recognizing and addressing telemedicine biases are central to gaining buy-in; 2) as technology advances, telemedicine processes need to adapt accordingly; and 3) telemedicine increases collaboration among health care providers and patients/families in the patient care process. CONCLUSIONS:To improve patient care through increased use of telemedicine for pediatric emergency consultations, processes need to be modified to address provider biases and end-user concerns. Processes should be adapted to allow users to utilize a variety of technologies (including smartphones) and to enable more users, such as nurses, to participate. Finally, telemedicine can be used to improve the patient and family experience by including them in consultations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Canada, offers specialized ambulatory surgical procedures. Patients often travel great distances to undergo surgery. Most patients receiving ambulatory surgery have a low rate of postoperative events necessitating clinic visits. However, regular follow-up is still considered important in the early postoperative phase. Increasingly, telemedicine is used to overcome the distance patients must travel to receive specialized care. Telemedicine data suggest that mobile monitoring and follow-up care is valued by patients and can reduce costs to society. Women's College Hospital has used a mobile app (QoC Health Inc) to complement in-person postoperative follow-up care for breast reconstruction patients. Preliminary studies suggest that mobile app follow-up care is feasible, can avert in-person follow-up care, and is cost-effective from a societal and health care system perspective. OBJECTIVE:We hope to expand the use of mobile app follow-up care through its formal assessment in a randomized controlled trial. In postoperative ambulatory surgery patients at Women's College Hospital (WCH), can we avert in-person follow-up care through the use of mobile app follow-up care compared to conventional, in-person follow-up care in the first 30 days after surgery. METHODS:This will be a pragmatic, single-center, open, controlled, 2-arm parallel-group superiority randomized trial comparing mobile app and in-person follow-up care over the first month following surgery. The patient population will comprise all postoperative ambulatory surgery patients at WCH undergoing breast reconstruction. The intervention consists of a postoperative mobile app follow-up care using the quality of recovery-9 (QoR9) and a pain visual analog scale (VAS), surgery-specific questions, and surgical site photos submitted daily for the first 2 weeks and weekly for the following 2 weeks. The primary outcome is the total number of physician visits related to the surgery over the first 30-days postoperative. The secondary outcomes include (1) the total number of phone calls and emails to a health care professional related to surgery, (2) complication rate, (3) societal and health care system costs, and (4) patient satisfaction over the first 30 days postoperative. Permutated-block randomization will be conducted by blocks of 4-6 using the program ralloc in Stata. This is an open study due to the nature of the intervention. RESULTS:A sample of 72 (36 patients per group) will provide an E-test for count data with a power of 95% (P=.05) to detect a difference of 1 visit between groups, assuming a 10% drop out rate. Count variables will be analyzed using Poisson regression. Categorical variables will be tested using a chi-square test. Cost-effectiveness will be analyzed using net benefit regression. Outcomes will be assessed over the first 30 days following surgery. CONCLUSIONS:We hope to show that the use of a mobile app in follow-up care minimizes the need for in-person visits for postoperative patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02318953; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02318953 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6Yifzdjph).
Project description:The COVID-19 pandemic transformed healthcare delivery, including rapid expansion of telehealth. Telerehabilitation, defined as therapy provided by physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language pathology, was rapidly adopted with goals to provide access to care and limit contagion. The purpose of this brief report was to describe feasibility of and satisfaction with telerehabilitation. Two-hundred five participants completed online surveys following a telerehabilitation visit. Most commonly, participants were women (53.7%), 35-64 years old, and completed PT (53.7%) for established visits of 30-44 minutes in duration for primary impairments in sports, lower limb injuries, and pediatric neurology. Overall high ratings ("excellent" or "very good" responses) were observed for all patient-centered outcome metrics (ranging 93.7-99%) and value in future telehealth visit (86.8%) across telerehabilitation visits. Women participated more frequently and provided higher ratings than men participants. Other benefits included eliminating travel time, incorporating other healthcare advocates, and convenience delivering care in familiar environment to pediatric patients. Technology and elements of hands-on aspects of care were observed limitations. Recognizing reduced indirect costs of care that telerehabilitation may provide along with high patient satisfaction are reasons policy makers should adopt these services into future healthcare delivery models.