Multicenter Evaluation of Telehealth Utilization in Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Before and for One Year During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stefano Bini, Yu Fen Chiu, Michael Ast, Chad Krueger, Joseph Maratt, Ilya Bendich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an increase in telehealth utilization across the health-care sector. It is unknown if telehealth use among hip and knee arthroplasty clinics has remained an important health-care delivery platform. The purpose of the present study was to analyze telehealth utilization before and for 1 year during the pandemic among four varied hip and knee arthroplasty clinics. Methods: Retrospective data were available from four regionally diverse hip and knee arthroplasty centers. Data on volume of patient visits, demographics, visit types (new visit, follow-up, postoperative visit, other), and visit modality (in-person, telehealth, telephone) were available from January 2020 through April 2021. Data from the centers were analyzed as a total and separately, using chi-squared and Fisher exact tests. Results: Among the four centers, there were 296,540 hip and knee arthroplasty outpatient clinic visits between January 2020 and April 2021. Of those, 15,240 (5%) were telehealth visits. Before March 2020, less than 0.1% of visits across centers occurred over telehealth. The highest utilization of telehealth visits occurred in March 2020 (>55%) and April 2020 (>25%). From August 2020 until April 2021, telehealth visits accounted for 2%-3% of total visits. Younger patients (<50 years old) were most likely to use telehealth. Follow-up and postoperative were the most likely telehealth visits. Conclusion: Telehealth utilization peaked during March and April of 2020 and has since reverted to near prepandemic levels. Younger patients and lower complexity visits such as postoperative or follow-up visits are more likely to use telehealth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalArthroplasty Today
Volume12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Healthcare delivery
  • Primary hip replacement
  • Primary knee replacement
  • Telehealth

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