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1.
J Neurol ; 269(9): 5022-5037, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1941617

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors that patients consider when choosing between future in-person, video, or telephone visits. BACKGROUND: Telemedicine has been rapidly integrated into ambulatory neurology in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Ambulatory neurology patients at a single center were contacted via telephone to complete: (1) a survey quantifying likelihood of scheduling a future telemedicine visit, and (2) a semi-structured qualitative interview following their visit in March 2021. Data were processed using the principles of thematic analysis. RESULTS: Of 2493 visits, 39% assented to post-visit feedback; 74% were in-person visits and 13% video and telephone. Patients with in-person visits were less likely than those with video and telephone visits to "definitely" consider a future telemedicine visit (36 vs. 59 and 62%, respectively; p < 0.001). Patients considered five key factors when scheduling future visits: "Pros of Visit Type," "Barriers to Telemedicine," "Situational Context," "Inherent Beliefs," and "Extrinsic Variables." Patients with telemedicine visits considered convenience as a pro, while those with in-person visits cited improved quality of care. Accessibility and user familiarity were considered barriers to telemedicine by patients with in-person and telephone visits, whereas system limitations were prevalent among patients with video visits. Patients agreed that stable conditions can be monitored via telemedicine, whereas physical examination warrants an in-person visit. Telemedicine was inherently considered equivalent to in-person care by patients with telephone visits. Awareness of telemedicine must be improved for patients with in-person visits. CONCLUSION: Across visit types, patients agree that telemedicine is convenient and effective in many circumstances. Future care delivery models should incorporate the patient perspective to implement hybrid models where telemedicine is an adjunct to in-person visits in ambulatory neurology.

2.
Neurooncol Pract ; 9(2): 91-104, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713699

ABSTRACT

While the COVID-19 pandemic has catalyzed the expansion of telemedicine into nearly every specialty of medicine, few articles have summarized current practices and recommendations for integrating virtual care in the practice of neuro-oncology. This article identifies current telemedicine practice, provides practical guidance for conducting telemedicine visits, and generates recommendations for integrating virtual care into neuro-oncology practice. Practical aspects of telemedicine are summarized including when to use and not use telemedicine, how to conduct a virtual visit, who to include in the virtual encounter, unique aspects of telehealth in neuro-oncology, and emerging innovations.

3.
Neurol Clin Pract ; 11(6): 484-496, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613275

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess patient experiences with rapid implementation of ambulatory telehealth during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: A mixed-methods study was performed to characterize the patients' experience with neurology telehealth visits during the first 8 weeks of the COVID-19 response. Consecutive patients who completed a telehealth visit were contacted by telephone. Assenting patients completed a survey quantifying satisfaction with the visit followed by a semistructured telephone interview. Qualitative data were analyzed using the principles of thematic analysis. RESULTS: A total of 2,280 telehealth visits were performed, and 753 patients (33%) were reached for postvisit feedback. Of these, 47% of visits were by video and 53% by telephone. Satisfaction was high, with 77% of patients reporting that all needs were met, although only 51% would consider telehealth in the future. Qualitative themes were constructed, suggesting that positive patient experiences were associated not only with the elimination of commute time and associated costs but also with a positive physician interaction. Negative patient experiences were associated with the inability to complete the neurologic examination. Overall, patients tended to view telehealth as a tool that should augment, and not replace, in-person visits. CONCLUSION: In ambulatory telehealth, patients valued convenience, safety, and physician relationship. Barriers were observed but can be addressed.

4.
Neurol Clin Pract ; 11(3): 232-241, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394504

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe rapid implementation of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic and assess for disparities in video visit implementation in the Appalachian region of the United States. METHODS: A retrospective cohort of consecutive patients seen in the first 4 weeks of telehealth implementation was identified from the Neurology Ambulatory Practice at a large academic medical center. Telehealth visits defaulted to video, and when unable, phone-only visits were scheduled. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on the telehealth visit type: video or phone only. Clinical variables were collected from the electronic medical record including age, sex, race, insurance status, indication for visit, and rural-urban status. Barriers to scheduling video visits were collected at the time of scheduling. Patient satisfaction was obtained by structured postvisit telephone call. RESULTS: Of 1,011 telehealth patient visits, 44% were video and 56% phone only. Patients who completed a video visit were younger (39.7 vs 48.4 years, p < 0.001), more likely to be female (63% vs 55%, p < 0.007), be White or Caucasian (p = 0.024), and not have Medicare or Medicaid insurance (p < 0.001). The most common barrier to scheduling video visits was technology limitations (46%). Although patients from rural and urban communities were equally likely to be scheduled for video visits, patients from rural communities were more likely to consider future telehealth visits (55% vs 42%, p = 0.05). CONCLUSION: Rapid implementation of ambulatory telemedicine defaulting to video visits successfully expanded video telehealth. Emerging disparities were revealed, as older, male, Black patients with Medicare or Medicaid insurance were less likely to complete video visits.

5.
Neurol Sci ; 42(11): 4437-4445, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353704

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As medical education shifted to a virtual environment during the early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we evaluated how neurology podcasting may have been utilized during this period, and which features of podcasts have been more highly sought by a medical audience. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of neurology-themed blogs and/or podcasts between April 2019 and May 2020. Programs were eligible if they reported mean monthly downloads > 2000, were affiliated with an academic society, or offered continuing medical education credit. Thirty-day download counts were compared between study months, with adjustment for multiple testing. Exploratory analyses were performed to determine which podcast features were associated with higher downloads. RESULTS: Of the 12 neurology podcasts surveyed, 8 completed the survey and 5 met inclusion criteria. The median monthly download count was 2865 (IQR 869-7497), with significant variability between programs (p < 0.001). While there was a 358% increase in downloads during April 2020 when compared to the previous month, this was not significant (median 8124 [IQR 2913-14,177] vs. 2268 [IQR 540-6116], padj = 0.80). The non-significant increase in overall downloads during April 2020 corresponded to an increase in unique episodes during that month (r = 0.48, p = 0.003). There was no difference in 30-day downloads among episodes including COVID-19 content versus not (median 1979 [IQR 791-2873] vs. 1171 [IQR 405-2665], p = 0.28). CONCLUSIONS: In this unique, exploratory study of academic neurology-themed podcasts, there was no significant increase in episode downloads during the early COVID-19 pandemic. A more comprehensive analysis of general and subspecialty medical podcasts is underway.


Subject(s)
Pandemics , Humans , Retrospective Studies
6.
Neuro Oncol ; 2020 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-46538

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak is posing unprecedented risks and challenges for all communities and healthcare systems, worldwide. There are unique considerations for many adult patients with gliomas who are vulnerable to the novel coronavirus due to older age and immunosuppression. As patients with terminal illnesses, they present ethical challenges for centers that may need to ration access to ventilator care due to insufficient critical care capacity. It is urgent for the neuro-oncology community to develop a pro-active and coordinated approach to the care of adults with gliomas in order to provide them with the best possible oncologic care while also reducing their risk of viral infection during times of potential healthcare system failure. In this article, we present an approach developed by an international multi-disciplinary group to optimize the care of adults with gliomas during this pandemic. We recommend measures to promote strict social distancing and minimize exposures for patients, address risk and benefit of all therapeutic interventions, pro-actively develop end of life plans, educate patients and caregivers and ensure the health of the multi-disciplinary neuro-oncology workforce. This pandemic is already changing neuro-oncologic care delivery around the globe. It is important to highlight opportunities to maximize the benefit and minimize the risk of glioma management during this pandemic and potentially, in the future.

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