Description and preliminary experience with Virtual Visit Assessment (ViVA) during the COVID-19 pandemic, a structured virtual management protocol for patients with multiple sclerosis
Neurol Sci. 2021 Jun 15. doi: 10.1007/s10072-021-05371-3. Online ahead of print.
In people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), strict follow-up is essential. Telemedicine has the potential to overcome many of the difficulties in routine management. Herein, we present a structured protocol that can be used to remotely manage patients with MS, describing in detail the steps to be taken and exams needed at each stage. A working group was established which developed a tailored protocol that can be adapted to a variety of settings. The overall protocol consisted of 5 phases: enrolment, document sharing phase, pre-evaluation, virtual visit, and post-visit phase, which was divided into 14 individual steps. As of October 2020, 25 virtual visits have been carried out, all via Skype. The patient’s caregiver was present during visits and had an active role. The average duration of the virtual visit was 24 min, and that of the pre-visit and post-visit were around 15 min each. Overall satisfaction as rated by physicians was considered high (8.0 ± 0.5). Using the system usability scale (SUS), patients also favorably rated the virtual visit (96.6 ± 6.1). In 20% of cases, the virtual visit was not sufficient to provide adequate information and an in-person clinical visit was recommended. The described protocol has the potential to provide benefits for the healthcare system as well as patients and their caregivers both during and beyond COVID-19 pandemic.
PMID:34131815 | DOI:10.1007/s10072-021-05371-3
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