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: Telemedicine; Pediatrics; Postoperative; Patient satisfaction; Wait time; Visit duration Scheduling
Telemedicine and e-Health. Volume: 25 Issue: 11 Pages: 1083-1089
JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 2.165 - Q3 (2017)
DOI reference: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0246
Published on paper: November 2019. Published on-line: December 2018.
K. Young, A. Gupta, R. Palacios. Impact of telemedicine in pediatric postoperative care. Telemedicine and e-Health. vol. 25, no. 11, pp. 1083-1089, November 2019. [Online: December 2018]