Telemedicine for Hip Preservation Patients: Access, Ability and Preference

Serena M. Taylor, Maria T. Schwabe, Gail Pashos, Tanner Thorton, Jeffrey J. Nepple, Charles M. Lawrie, John C. Clohisy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Recent events have resulted in rapid rises in the use of telemedicine in orthopaedic surgery, despite limited evidence regarding patient preferences or concerns. The purpose of this study is to determine access to and, ability to use telemedicine technology in an adult hip preservation patient population, as well as determine associations with patient characteristics. Additionally, we seek to understand patients' perceived benefits, risks and preferences of telemedicine. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey administered on patients scheduled to undergo joint preservation surgery by one of three surgeons at a single academic institution. Both preoperative and postoperative established patients were included and called for a telephone administered survey if a date of surgery was scheduled between October 1, 2019 and March 30, 2020 and were 18 years or older. The survey had seven sections with 45 questions relating to demographics, technology access, videoconferencing capability, confidence using technology, telehealth experiences, perceptions. Results: 101 patients completed the survey (48% response rate, 101/212). Overall, 99% of participants reported using the internet, 94% reporting owning a device capable of videoconferencing, and 86% of patients had participated in a video call in the past year. When asked for their preferred method for a physician visit: 79% ranked in-person as their first choice and 16% ranked a videoconference visit as their first choice. Perceived benefits of telemedicine visits included reduced travel to appointments (97% agree) and reduced cost of attending appointments (69% agree). However, patients were concerned that they would not establish the same patient-physician connection (51% agree) and would not receive the same level of care (38% agree) through telemedicine visits versus in person visits. Conclusion: The majority of hip preservation patients have access to and are capable of using the technology required for telemedicine visits. However, patients still prefer to have in person visits over concerns that they will not establish the same patient-physician connection and will not receive the same level of care. Telemedicine visits in hip preservation patients may be most attractive to return patients with an established doctor-patient relationship, particularly those with concerns for long distances of travel and associated costs.Level of Evidence: III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalThe Iowa orthopaedic journal
Volume41
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Keywords

  • ability
  • access
  • hip
  • joint preservation
  • preference
  • technology
  • telemedicine
  • videoconferencing

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