Telerounding Has Clinical Value and Enables the Busy Surgeon: A Colorectal Surgeon’s Ten-Year Experience

Kristina J. Nicholson, Matthew R. Rosengart, Andrew R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Study of telemedicine and telerounding in surgical specialties is limited. The push for telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the face-to-face rounding paradigm and creates an opportunity for reflection on the benefits of telemedicine, especially for balancing competing corporate and clinical demands. Methods: The 117-month video-based inpatient telerounding experience of a colorectal surgeon in an academic medical system was recorded, including patient characteristics, diagnoses, technology, content of telerounding encounters, and logistical considerations. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: 163 patients were seen in 201 telerounding encounters, primarily for routine postoperative care (90.5%). Most were admitted for inflammatory bowel disease (63.2%). Changes were made to plans of care during 28.9% of encounters, and discharge planning was part of 26.4%. Encounters were conducted primarily from the surgeon’s administrative office (68.7%) or other work-related locations (10.9%), while 6.5% originated from the surgeon’s home. Technologic issues occurred in 5.5% of encounters. 89.1% of patient feedback was positive and none was negative. Conclusion: Telerounding is technologically feasible and has clinical value, including for patients with complex surgical problems. Technologic problems are rare and patient satisfaction is high. Surgeons should consider telerounding as a means to balance competing demands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2923-2927
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • colorectal
  • telemedicine
  • telerounding


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