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Telemed J E Health. 2018 Dec 5. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0246. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of Telemedicine in Pediatric Postoperative Care.

Author information

1
1 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2
2 Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), Massachusetts Institute of Technology , Cambridge, Massachusetts.
3
3 Institute for Research in Technology , Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, Spain .

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A shortage of pediatricians and long wait times in the hospitals render more efficient follow-up visits increasingly important. Virtual visits between physician and patient offer a solution to this problem. Increased awareness, improved technology, and efficient scheduling methods will contribute to the quality and adoption of telemedicine programs.

INTRODUCTION:

The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of pediatric telemedicine on wait times and visit durations, as compared with in-person visits. A secondary goal was to assess the efficiency of different scheduling methods for virtual visits.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The study included >800 postoperative virtual visits from urology, cardiovascular surgery, and ophthalmology, comprising data on wait times, visit duration, and postvisit satisfaction collected through SBR Health and Redcap. In-person visit data were collected on 14 patients in urology, and satisfaction scores were obtained through Press Ganey for urology and ophthalmology.

RESULTS:

Patients reported very high satisfaction with virtual visits and benefitted from reduced wait times, while receiving care of comparable duration and quality. Longer blocks of time scheduled exclusively for virtual visits correlated with shorter wait times.

DISCUSSION:

Supplementing health care with telemedicine is a viable way to provide patient-centered care. Implemented effectively, a telemedicine program can contribute greatly to the value a hospital provides to its patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Virtual visits provide an efficient way to conduct postoperative visits, reducing wait times and increasing physician efficiency while retaining high satisfaction and quality of care.

KEYWORDS:

PMID:
30517056
DOI:
10.1089/tmj.2018.0246

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