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Telemedicine utilisation in a paediatric sports medicine practice: decreased cost and wait times with increased satisfaction
  1. Alfred Atanda Jr.,
  2. Miguel Pelton2,
  3. Peter D Fabricant3,
  4. Ashley Tucker1,
  5. Suken A Shah1,
  6. Nicholas Slamon4
  1. 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware, USA
  2. 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  3. 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City, New York, USA
  4. 4Department of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alfred Atanda Jr., Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE 19803, USA; Alfred.Atanda{at}nemours.org

Abstract

Objectives Telemedicine is the use of telecommunication to provide healthcare remotely. We sought to quantify time/cost savings and satisfaction between a cohort of telemedicine and inperson visits in a tertiary paediatric orthopaedic clinic.

Methods Time for clinical visits and wait times were compared between telemedicine and inperson visits. Costs to patients and department were also calculated for both visit types. Parents completed a five-item satisfaction survey regarding their telemedicine experience.

Results Visit times (15 vs 68 min, P<0.001) and wait times (2 vs 33 min, P<0.001) were shorter for telemedicine visits. Families saved 85 miles of driving and $50 in costs per telemedicine visit. Labour cost saved for a telemedicine visit was $24/patient. More than 90% of patients were satisfied with the telemedicine service.

Conclusion Telemedicine can be used in a sports medicine setting to provide care that reduces costs while maintaining high levels of patient satisfaction.

Level of evidence Level III.

  • economic analysis

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Footnotes

  • Contributors AA was responsible for the overall manuscript preparation and study design. MP and PDF prepared the introduction. AT was responsible for the Methods section. SAS, PDF and NS were responsible for the Discussion section. NS was responsible for statistical analysis.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial and not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Approval was granted by the Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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