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Remote Care Adoption in Underserved Congenital Heart Disease Patients During the COVID-19 Era

HumanInsight Remote Care Adoption in Underserved Congenital Heart Disease Patients During the COVID-19 Era

Pediatr Cardiol. 2022 Dec 23. doi: 10.1007/s00246-022-03042-4. Online ahead of print.


The COVID-19 pandemic restricted in-person appointments and prompted an increase in remote healthcare delivery. Our goal was to assess access to remote care for complex pediatric cardiology patients. We performed a retrospective chart review of Texas Children's Hospital (TCH) pediatric cardiology outpatient appointments from March 2020 to December 2020 for established congenital heart disease (CHD) patients 1 to 17 yo. Primary outcome variables were remote care use of telemedicine and patient portal activation. Primary predictor variables were age, sex, insurance, race/ethnicity, language, and location. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze patient demographics. Multivariate logistic regression determined associations with remote care use (p < 0.05). We identified 5,410 established patients with clinic appointments during the identified timeframe. Adopters of telemedicine included 13% of patients (n = 691). Of the prior non patient portal users, 4.5% activated their accounts. On multivariate analysis, older age (10-17 yo) was associated with increased telemedicine (OR 2.04, 95%CI 1.71, 2.43) and patient portal use (OR 1.70, 95%CI 1.33, 2.17). Public insurance (OR 1.66, 95%CI 1.25, 2.20) and Spanish speaking were associated with increased patient portal adoption. Race/ethnicity was not significantly associated with telemedicine use or patient portal adoption. Telehealth adoption among older children may be indicative of their ability to aid in the use of these technologies. Higher participation in patient portal activation among publicly insured and Spanish speaking patients is encouraging and demonstrates ability to navigate some degree of remote patient care. Adoption of remote patient care may assist in reducing access to care disparities.

PMID:36562781 | DOI:10.1007/s00246-022-03042-4

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