Adopting Virtual Visits for Parkinson's Disease Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic in a Developing Country.
ABSTRACT: Objective: Telemedicine has been increasingly used, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, limited data are available from developing countries. The present study aimed to evaluate the feasibility, satisfaction of patients and physicians, and quality of service provided during virtual visits for Parkinson's disease (PD) patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated limitations. Methods: Thirty-nine PD patients were contacted to schedule virtual visits using the Zoom application. Thereafter, we rated the feasibility, satisfaction, and quality of service provided by virtual visits using patients' and physicians' questionnaires. Results: Twenty-one out of 39 PD patients were scheduled for virtual visits. Nineteen virtual visits out of 21 (90.5%) were conducted successfully; 16 of these were accomplished in the first attempt (76.2%). The scores of satisfaction, quality of service, and set-up/preparation were 9.5 (8.5-10), 9.5 (9-10), and 8 (5-10) for the patients and 9 (7-10), 8 (6-10), and 10 (10-10) for the physicians, respectively. The average time that was saved was 270.79 ± 142.17 min, while an average of 76.38 ± 95.15 km of travel was avoided for the patients per visit. The most common limitations for conducting virtual visits were a lack of Internet connection and the inability to use technology (75%). Conclusions: The present study showed the feasibility and the high satisfaction level of patients and physicians as well as the favorable service quality of virtual visits for PD in a developing country during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the lack of Internet connectivity and the inability to use technology were the main limitations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Previous small-scale studies have demonstrated the feasibility of providing remote specialty care via virtual visits. We assessed the feasibility and benefits of a one-time consultation between a remote Parkinson Disease (PD) specialist and an individual with PD at home on a larger scale. METHODS:We conducted a multicenter noncontrolled cohort of virtual visits administered over videoconferencing between remote PD specialists and individuals with PD in their home. Specialists performed a patient history and a PD-specific physical examination and provided recommendations to patients and their local physicians. The primary outcome measures were feasibility, as measured by the proportion of visits completed as scheduled, and the 6-month change in quality of life, as measured by the Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire 39. Additional outcomes included satisfaction with visits and interest in future virtual visits. RESULTS:A total of 277 participants from 5 states enrolled, 258 participants completed virtual visits with 14 different physicians, and 91% of visits were completed as scheduled. No improvement in quality of life was observed at 6 months (0.4-point improvement; 95% confidence interval -1.5 to 0.6; p = 0.39). Overall satisfaction with virtual visits was high among physicians (94% satisfied or very satisfied) and patients (94% satisfied or very satisfied), and 74% of participants were interested in receiving future care via virtual visits. CONCLUSIONS:Providing specialty care remotely into the homes of individuals with PD is feasible, but a one-time visit did not improve quality of life. Satisfaction with the visits was high among physicians and patients, who were interested in receiving such care in the future. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE:This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with PD, remote specialty care is feasible but does not improve quality of life. CLINICALTRIALSGOV IDENTIFIER:NCT02144220.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Demand for virtual visits (an online synchronous medical appointment between a health care provider and patient) is increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There may be additional benefits of virtual visits as they appear to be convenient and potentially cost-saving to patients. People receiving maintenance hemodialysis require ongoing care from their nephrologist and may benefit from virtual visits; however, the optimal model for a virtual kidney clinic is unknown.<h4>Objective</h4>To codesign and assess the feasibility of a virtual (video) kidney clinic model with clinic staff, nephrologists, and patients receiving maintenance hemodialysis, to be used for routine follow-up visits.<h4>Design</h4>Mixed-methods study.<h4>Setting</h4>Two main kidney clinics in central Calgary, Alberta.<h4>Participants</h4>Adults with kidney failure receiving maintenance hemodialysis, nephrologists, and clinic staff.<h4>Methods</h4>First, we individually interviewed clinic staff and nephrologists to assess the needs of the clinic to deliver virtual visits. Then, we used participant observation with patients and nephrologists to codesign the virtual visit model. Finally, we used structured surveys to evaluate the patients' and nephrologists' experiences when using the virtual model.<h4>Results</h4>Eight video visits (8 patients; 6 nephrologists) were scheduled between October 2019 and February 2020 and 7 were successfully completed. Among completed visits, all participants reported high satisfaction with the service, were willing to use it again, and would recommend it to others. Three main themes were identified with respect to factors influencing visit success: IT infrastructure, administration, and process.<h4>Limitations</h4>Patients received training on how to use the videoconference platform by the PhD student, whom also set up the technical components of the visit for the nephrologist. This may have overestimated the feasibility of virtual visits if this level of support is not available in future. Second, interviews were not audio-recorded and thematic analysis relied on field notes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Video visits for routine follow-up care between people receiving hemodialysis and nephrologists were acceptable to patients and nephrologists. Video visits appear to be feasible if clinics are equipped with appropriate equipment and IT infrastructure, physicians are remunerated appropriately, and patients receive training on how to use software as needed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:During the current COVID-19 health crisis virtual geriatric clinics have become increasingly utilised to complete outpatient consultations, although concerns exist about feasibility of such virtual consultations for older people. The aim of this rapid review is to describe the satisfaction, clinic productivity, clinical benefit, satisfaction and costs associated with the virtual geriatric clinic model of care. METHODS:A rapid review of PubMed, MEDLINE and CINAHL databases was conducted up to April 2020. Two independent reviewers extracted the information. Four subdomains were focused on: satisfaction with the virtual geriatric clinic, clinic productivity, clinical benefit to patients, costs and any challenges associated with the virtual clinic process. RESULTS:Nine studies with 975 patients met our inclusion criteria. All were observational studies. Seven studies reported patients were satisfied with the virtual geriatric clinic model of care. Productivity outcomes included reports of cost-effectiveness, savings on transport, and improved waiting list metrics. Clinical benefits included successful polypharmacy reviews, and reductions in acute hospitalisation rates. Varying challenges were reported for both clinicians and patients in eight of the nine studies. Hearing impairments and difficulty with technology added to anxieties experienced by patients. Physicians missed the added value of a thorough physical examination and had concerns about confidentiality. CONCLUSION:Virtual geriatric clinics demonstrate evidence of productivity, benefit to patients, cost effectiveness and patient satisfaction with the treatment provided. In the current suboptimal pandemic climate, virtual geriatric clinics may allow Geriatricians to continue to provide an outpatient service, despite the encountered inherent challenges.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has led to drastic changes in how psychiatric consultation-liaison (C-L) services conduct business and required rapid transition to telepsychiatry. We describe the practice changes implemented to rapid transition to virtual care in a large, academic psychiatry C-L service in response to the pandemic.<h4>Objective</h4>To describe clinical service structural changes, timelines and impacts on consultation volume as well as present quantitative and qualitative data regarding the experience of this transition from the standpoints of both psychiatric trainees and attending physicians.<h4>Methods</h4>We present the narrative descriptions of transition details based on focused interviews with inpatient C-L leadership. Inpatient consult volume and charge data were gathered using analysis of health system data. Attending and trainee experience of the transition to virtual care were assessed using anonymous, online surveys.<h4>Results</h4>During the pandemic, the average weekly consultation volume and average weekly charges were significantly lower compared with prepandemic. Both volume and charges were affected by addition of video consultation capability. Both attendings and trainees had moderate or high comfort and moderate satisfaction with telephone and video consultations. Overall, the trainee satisfaction with supervision, learning, and their consult psychiatry experience did not seem to be affected by the pandemic.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our results support the feasibility of the rapid implementation of virtual care in a psychiatric academic C-L service without negatively impacting the learner's consult psychiatry experience. This should provide comfort to academic C-L services that required rapid implementation of virtual care.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To compare patient and physician satisfaction between home-based telemedicine visits and office visits for follow-up care within a movement disorders program.<h4>Methods</h4>Patients were offered telemedicine visits as follow-up care. After telemedicine visits, a questionnaire of items along a 10-point Likert Scale (10?=?most satisfied) assessed patient and overall physician satisfaction, comparing the experience to past in-office visits.<h4>Results</h4>Patients and physicians were highly satisfied with the telemedicine experience, both groups having median endorsement scores of 9.25 and 10.0, respectively (response range 6-10), and furthermore, favoring future telemedicine visits when feasible. Although some assessments could not be performed (postural stability, rigidity), physicians likewise favored having future telemedicine visits (median score 10, range 5.0-10).<h4>Conclusions</h4>This direct comparison of patient satisfaction with telemedicine visits to previously experienced office visits strongly supports telemedicine care, with patients highlighting convenience, time, and expense. Despite some limitations with telemedicine, physicians expressed highly rated quality-of-service provided.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly transformed how healthcare is delivered to limit the transmission of the virus. This descriptive cross-sectional study explored the current use of virtual visits in providing care among primary care providers in southwestern Ontario during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the anticipated level of utilization post-pandemic. It also explored clinicians' perceptions of the available support tools and resources and challenges to incorporating virtual visits within primary care practices.<h4>Methods</h4>Primary care physicians and nurse practitioners currently practicing in the southwestern part of Ontario were invited to participate in an online survey. The survey invite was distributed via email, different social media platforms, and newsletters. The survey questions gathered clinicians' demographic information and assessed their experience with virtual visits, including the proportion of visits conducted virtually (before, during the pandemic, and expected volume post-pandemic), overall satisfaction and comfort level with offering virtual visits using modalities, challenges experienced, as well as useful resources and tools to support them in using virtual visits in their practice.<h4>Results</h4>We received 207 responses, with 96.6% of respondents offering virtual visits in their practice. Participants used different modalities to conduct virtual visits, with the vast majority offering visits via phone calls (99.5%). Since the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians who offered virtual visits have conducted an average of 66.4% of their visits virtually, compared to an average of 6.5% pre-pandemic. Participants anticipated continuing use of virtual visits with an average of 43.9% post-pandemic. Overall, 74.5% of participants were satisfied with their experience using virtual visits, and 88% believed they could incorporate virtual visits well within the usual workflow. Participants highlighted some challenges in offering virtual care. For example, 58% were concerned about patients' limited access to technology, 55% about patients' knowledge of technology, and 41% about the lack of integration with their current EMR, the increase in demand over time, and the connectivity issues such as inconsistent Wi-Fi/Internet connection. There were significant differences in perception of some challenges between clinicians in urban vs, rural areas. Clinicians in rural areas were more likely to consider the inconsistent Wi-Fi and limited connectivity as barriers to incorporating virtual visits within the practice setting (58.8% vs. 40.2%, P = 0.030). In comparison, clinicians in urban areas were significantly more concerned about patients overusing virtual care services (39.4% vs. 21.6%, P = 0.024). As for support tools, 47% of clinicians advocated for virtual care standards outlined by their profession's college. About 32% identified change management support and technical training as supportive tools. Moreover, 39% and 28% thought local colleagues and in-house organizational support are helpful resources, respectively.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our study shows that the adoption of virtual visits has exponentially increased during the pandemic, with a significant interest in continuing to use virtual care options in the delivery of primary care post-pandemic. The study sheds light on tools and resources that could enhance operational efficiencies in adopting virtual visits in primary care settings and highlights challenges that, when addressed, can expand the health system capacity and sustained use of virtual care.
Project description:<h4>Importance</h4>The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has burdened health care resources and disrupted care of patients with cancer. Virtual care (VC) represents a potential solution. However, few quantitative data support its rapid implementation and positive associations with service capacity and quality.<h4>Objective</h4>To examine the outcomes of a cancer center-wide virtual care program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.<h4>Design, setting, and participants</h4>This cohort study applied a hospitalwide agile service design to map gaps and develop a customized digital solution to enable at-scale VC across a publicly funded comprehensive cancer center. Data were collected from a high-volume cancer center in Ontario, Canada, from March 23 to May 22, 2020.<h4>Main outcomes and measures</h4>Outcome measures were care delivery volumes, quality of care, patient and practitioner experiences, and cost savings to patients.<h4>Results</h4>The VC solution was developed and launched 12 days after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 22?085 VC visits (mean, 514 visits per day) were conducted, comprising 68.4% (range, 18.8%-100%) of daily visits compared with 0.8% before launch (P?<?.001). Ambulatory clinic volumes recovered a month after deployment (3714-4091 patients per week), whereas chemotherapy and radiotherapy caseloads (1943-2461 patients per week) remained stable throughout. No changes in institutional or provincial quality-of-care indexes were observed. A total of 3791 surveys (3507 patients and 284 practitioners) were completed; 2207 patients (82%) and 92 practitioners (72%) indicated overall satisfaction with VC. The direct cost of this initiative was CAD$?202?537, and displacement-related cost savings to patients totaled CAD$?3?155?946.<h4>Conclusions and relevance</h4>These findings suggest that implementation of VC at scale at a high-volume cancer center may be feasible. An agile service design approach was able to preserve outpatient caseloads and maintain care quality, while rendering high patient and practitioner satisfaction. These findings may help guide the transformation of telemedicine in the post COVID-19 era.
Project description:Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the use of telehealth has burgeoned. Numerous surgical specialties have already adopted the use of virtual postoperative visits, but there is data lacking in both robotics and gynecology. In this single-institution prospective cohort study we sought to evaluate the patient satisfaction, feasibility and safety of postoperative telehealth visits following robotic gynecologic surgery. Thirty-three patients undergoing robotic gynecologic procedures participated in a postoperative telehealth visit approximately 2 weeks following surgery, of which 27 completed a survey which assessed participant satisfaction with the telehealth visit, overall health-related quality of life following surgery, exposure to telehealth visits, and social determinants of health. The mean satisfaction score was just below 'excellent'. Only 2 participants (6.3%) required an in-person visit. Postoperative telehealth visit satisfaction score was significantly associated only with BMI (Pearson r = 0.45, p = 0.018). These data suggest that telehealth visits following robotic gynecologic procedures appear to be safe and feasible, and are associated with a high level of patient satisfaction.
Project description:The aim was to evaluate patient satisfaction with virtual care, and identify factors associated with level of satisfaction. Surveys were mailed to all patients who had a phone visit at The Ottawa Hospital Rheumatology division. Patients' satisfaction with various aspects of the phone visits was assessed on a 5-point scale and analyzed according to demographic variables using chi-square and regression analyses. Of 2423 surveys mailed, we received 742 responses (31%). Eighty-nine percent of patients were satisfied overall with the phone visit. Statistically significant less satisfaction was seen in patients who spoke to a resident compared to their rheumatologist (p < 0.001), were not called on time (p < 0.001), had difficulty using a telephone (p < 0.001), needed assistance of a second person (p < 0.01), or had new consultations (versus routine follow-up, p = 0.01), the former 3 factors being significant in a multivariate regression analysis. Rheumatology patients expressed a high level of satisfaction with virtual care; however, areas of improvement were identified. Patients' satisfaction will be important to inform future decisions regarding the sustainability of virtual care. Further research is required to understand the impacts of virtual care on patients' Key Points • Patients in rheumatology practice were satisfied with phone visits and preferred this method to in-person visits during the pandemic. • Speaking directly to the rheumatologist, being phoned on time, and the capability of using the telephone were the major determinants of high patient satisfaction. • Based on the identified factors, further improvement of the quality of and satisfaction with phone visits can be pursued given that virtual care may continue longer, beyond the pandemic.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is thought to have increased use of virtual care, but population-based studies are lacking. We aimed to assess the uptake of virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic using comprehensive population-based data from Ontario.<h4>Methods</h4>This was a repeated cross-sectional study design. We used administrative data to evaluate changes in in-person and virtual visits among all residents of Ontario before (2012-2019) and during (January-August 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. We included all patients who had an ambulatory care visit in Ontario. We excluded claims for patients who were not Ontario residents or had an invalid or missing health card number. We compared monthly or quarterly virtual care use across age groups, neighbourhood income quintiles and chronic disease subgroups. We also examined physician characteristics that may have been associated with virtual care use.<h4>Results</h4>Among all residents of Ontario (population 14.6 million), virtual care increased from 1.6% of total ambulatory visits in the second quarter of 2019 to 70.6% in the second quarter of 2020. The proportion of physicians who provided 1 or more virtual visits per year increased from 7.0% in the second quarter of 2019 to 85.9% in the second quarter of 2020. The proportion of Ontarians who had a virtual visit increased from 1.3% in 2019 to 29.2% in 2020. Older patients were the highest users of virtual care. The proportion of total virtual visits that were provided to patients residing in rural areas (v. urban areas) declined significantly between 2012 and 2020, reflecting a shift in virtual care to a service increasingly used in urban centres. The rates of virtual care use increased similarly across all conditions and across all income quintiles.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Our findings show that Ontario's approach to virtual care led to broad adoption across all provider groups, patient age, types of chronic diseases and neighborhood income. These findings have policy implications, including use of virtual care billing codes, for the ongoing use of virtual care during the second wave of the pandemic and beyond.