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Telemedicine Satisfaction and Preferences in an Orthopaedic Spine Clinic

HumanInsight Telemedicine Satisfaction and Preferences in an Orthopaedic Spine Clinic

Surg Innov. 2022 Nov 25:15533506221140477. doi: 10.1177/15533506221140477. Online ahead of print.


The use of telemedicine has expanded amid the COVID-19 pandemic and office closures and cancellation of elective surgeries early in the pandemic helped propagated its use. Previous studies have described the feasibility of telemedicine, however, little has been reported on patient perception and preferences within orthopaedics. The objective of this study was to evaluate satisfaction and preferences of telemedicine from the perspective of patients within an orthopaedic spine clinic. A cross-sectional, anonymous survey was implemented as a prospective quality improvement initiative. The survey was sent to patients who had an in-office or telemedicine visit with a provider in our orthopaedic spine clinic. Statistical analysis was performed on the results of the survey. The survey was sent to 1129 patients and a total of 316 patients responded. Twenty-one percent of respondents had a telemedicine appointment. There was no difference in satisfaction among groups (P = .288) and those with telemedicine appointments were more likely to have had a previous experience with this type of visit (P = .004) and were more inclined to use it in the future (P < .001). Patients preferred telemedicine because of the ability to get earlier appointments (P < .001) and the convenience of the visits (P < .001). Patients preferred in-office visits because they received hands-on physical exams (P = .003) or imaging (P = .041). Telemedicine is a viable alternative to in-office appointments for spine patients, as evidenced by similar levels of patient satisfaction. Sooner appointments and convenience are attractive elements of telemedicine visits, while the desire for physical examination remains a barrier to adoption in this population.

PMID:36426904 | DOI:10.1177/15533506221140477

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