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Neurosurgery ; 89(3): 364-371, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270746


Telemedicine has received increased attention in recent years as a potential solution to expand clinical capability and patient access to care in many fields, including neurosurgery. Although patient and physician attitudes are rapidly shifting toward greater telemedicine use in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there remains uncertainty about telemedicine's regulatory future. Despite growing evidence of telemedicine's utility, there remain a number of significant medicolegal barriers to its mass adoption and wider implementation. Herein, we examine recent progress in state and federal regulations in the United States governing telemedicine's implementation in quality of care, finance and billing, privacy and confidentiality, risk and liability, and geography and interstate licensure, with special attention to how these concern teleneurosurgical practice. We also review contemporary topics germane to the future of teleneurosurgery, including the continued expansion of reciprocity in interstate licensure, expanded coverage for homecare services for chronic conditions, expansion of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimbursements, and protections of store-and-forward technologies. Additionally, we discuss recent successes in teleneurosurgery, stroke care, and rehabilitation as models for teleneurosurgical best practices. As telemedicine technology continues to mature and its expanse grows, neurosurgeons' familiarity with its benefits, limitations, and controversies will best allow for its successful adoption in our field to maximize patient care and outcomes.

COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Aged , Humans , Medicare , Neurosurgeons , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
World Neurosurg ; 145: e202-e208, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-899667


OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on operative case volume in 8 U.S. neurosurgical residency training programs in early 2020 and to survey these programs regarding training activities during this period. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of monthly operative case volumes and types for 8 residency programs for 2019 and January through April 2020. Cases were grouped as elective cranial, elective spine, and nonelective emergent cases. Programs were surveyed regarding residents' perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on surgical training, didactics, and research participation. Data were analyzed for individual programs and pooled across programs. RESULTS: Across programs, the 2019 monthly mean ± SD case volume was 211 ± 82; 2020 mean ± SD case volumes for January, February, March, and April were 228 ± 93, 214 ± 84, 180 ± 73, and 107 ± 45. Compared with 2019, March and April 2020 mean cases declined 15% (P = 0.003) and 49% (P = 0.002), respectively. COVID-19 affected surgical case volume for all programs; 75% reported didactics negatively affected, and 90% reported COVID-19 resulted in increased research time. Several neurosurgery residents required COVID-19 testing; however, to our knowledge, only 1 resident from the participating programs tested positive. CONCLUSIONS: This study documents a significant reduction in operative volume in 8 neurosurgery residency training programs in early 2020. During this time, neurosurgery residents engaged in online didactics and research-related activities, reporting increased research productivity. Residency programs should collect data to determine the educational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on residents' operative case volumes, identify deficiencies, and develop plans to mitigate any effects.

COVID-19 , Neurosurgery/education , Pandemics , COVID-19 Testing , Education, Medical, Graduate/statistics & numerical data , Elective Surgical Procedures , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional , Internship and Residency , Research , Retrospective Studies , Spine/surgery , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States