In Person vs Over-the-Phone: A Preference?
The silver lining of the quarantine cloud may be the increase in telemedicine follow-up postsurgery. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery reports that patients were just as satisfied with a telemedicine follow-up as they were with an office visit. This particular group of 122 patients had arthroscopic surgery of the meniscus. After being randomly assigned, the office based group of 58 patients (84.1%) preferred this type of follow-up; the telemedicine group of 42 (79.2%) preferred their follow-up. This study is the first to directly compare telemedicine with standard office-based follow-up after orthopaedic surgery.
Coauthor Christina P. Herrero, MD, commented, “Telemedicine may be a reasonable alternative to office-based follow-up after knee arthroscopy. [Our] study only evaluated the first postoperative visit, but future studies may benefit from expanding the use of telemedicine to longer-term follow-ups or to additional surgical procedures." The study concluded “that patient satisfaction with overall care is equivalent between telemedicine and office-based follow-up in the immediate postoperative period following an arthroscopic meniscal surgical procedure, and should be considered a reasonable alternative to the traditional in-office modality.”
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