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A prospective clinical, cost and environmental analysis of a clinician-led virtual urology clinic.

A prospective clinical, cost and environmental analysis of a clinician-led virtual urology clinic.

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A prospective clinical, cost and environmental analysis of a clinician-led virtual urology clinic.

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2018 Oct 05;:1-5

Authors: Miah S, Dunford C, Edison M, Eldred-Evans D, Gan C, Shah TT, Lunn P, Winkler M, Ahmed HU, Gibbons N, Hrouda D

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Minimally invasive parathyroidectomy (MIP) for primary hyperparathyroidism is dependent upon accurate prediction of single-gland disease on the basis of preoperative imaging and biochemistry. The aims of this study were to validate currently available predictive models of single-gland disease in two UK cohorts and to determine if these models can facilitate MIP.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We collected data prospectively from our weekly follow-up virtual clinic over a continuous four-month period between July and September 2017.
RESULTS: In total, we reviewed 409 patients. Following virtual clinic consultation, 68.5% of our patients were discharged from further follow-up. The majority of our patients (male 57.7%, female 55.5%) were of working age. The satisfaction scores were high, at 90.1%, and there were no reported adverse events as a result of using the virtual clinic. Our calculated cost savings were £18,744, with a predicted 12-month cost saving of £56,232. The creation of additional face-to-face clinic capacity has created an estimated 12-month increase in tariff generation for our unit of £72,072. In total, 4623 travel miles were avoided by patients using the virtual clinic, with an estimated avoided carbon footprint of 0.35-1.45 metric tonnes of CO2e, depending on mode of transport. Our predicted 12-month avoided carbon footprint is 1.04-4.04 metric tonnes of CO2e.
CONCLUSIONS: Our virtual clinic model has demonstrated a trifecta of positive outcomes, namely, clinical, financial and environmental benefits. The environmental importance and benefits of a virtual clinic should be promoted as a social enterprise value when engaging stakeholders in setting up such a urological service. We propose the adoption of our virtual clinic model in those urological units considering this method of telemedicine.

PMID: 30286648 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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