G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2023 Jun;24(6):432-435. doi: 10.1714/4041.40202.
BACKGROUND: Telemedicine enables patients to receive better care via the simplification of procedures while allowing for a significant reduction of in-office appointments and emergency room visits. The "Cardiologia in linea" project started with the objective of strengthening communications between cardiologists and primary care, particularly with general practitioners.
METHODS: Between January 2017 and October 2022, by means of a facilitated telephonic and digital contact between territorial professionals and the cardiologist, the project provided in most cases immediate answers to cardiology queries, which were logged.
RESULTS: A total of 2066 telephonic or digital consultations have been recorded, originating from 316 general practitioners in the Trento province (Italy). The mean age of patients was 76.4 years, 53% were male. After consultation, an immediate response was provided in 1989 (96%) of cases. A total of 1112 (54%) cardiology visits were avoided. After the consultation, a cardiologic visit was suggested in 29 cases (1%), and the emergency system was activated in 20 cases (1%). Overall, most questions concerned direct oral anticoagulant prescriptions (537 cases, 31%) and anti-hypertensive treatment (241 cases, 14%).
CONCLUSIONS: The "Cardiologia in linea" project demonstrated a low-cost improvement in the patient assistance workflow, in the communication between hospital cardiology and primary care, while reducing the number of emergency room accesses. The project successfully shows the feasibility of a real-time dialogue between the general practitioner and the hospital cardiologist.
PMID:37227202 | DOI:10.1714/4041.40202
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