SAN FRANCISCO — Using telemedicine for pediatric electrophysiology was a cost-effective option to improve access to subspecialty care with enhanced patient and family satisfaction, according to data presented at Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions.
“Telemedicine expands care to those that may not have been able to travel to see a physician, provides equal if not improves patient/family satisfaction and provides both new and follow-up consultation,” Lindsey E. Malloy-Walton, DO, MPH, FAAP, assistant professor at The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, told Cardiology Today. “Telemedicine is a rapidly growing sector and the wave of the future for medicine.”
Researchers analyzed data from 79 patient visits to a telemedicine clinic. Data that were reviewed during a 12-month period included satisfaction survey results and patient diagnoses.
New and follow-up patients were seen for diagnoses such as genetic arrhythmias, supraventricular tachycardia, incision checks, high-grade heart block, dysautonomia and device interrogations. Nine percent of patients had device interrogations with appropriate programming changes.
Based on satisfaction survey results, 23% were more satisfied and 77% were equally satisfied with the care received during the telemedicine appointment. No issues with the telemedicine visit resulted in an in-person visit.
The results of the survey showed that the experience was convenient because of reductions in time away from work and in travel.
During a press conference at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, Michelle A. Petri, MD, PhD, noted that since supplementary vitamin D is both safe and cheap, it is recommended for every patient with lupus nephritis.
Reimbursement for telemedicine visits was equal to in-person visits because the same standard of care was met in both types of visits.
“Quality improvement research is needed to compare telemedicine visits to inpatient visits in electrophysiology,” Malloy-Walton said in an interview. – by Darlene Dobkowski
Malloy-Walton LE, et al. Abstract S-PO02-215. Presented at: Heart Rhythm Society Annual Scientific Sessions; May 8-11, 2019; San Francisco.
Disclosure: Malloy-Walton reports no relevant financial disclosures.