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1.
GMS J Med Educ ; 38(4): Doc81, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523662

ABSTRACT

Background: Due to the pandemic-related restrictions in classroom teaching at the medical faculties of the LMU Munich and the University of Basel, teaching methods with standardized patients (SPs), were shifted to a digital, web-based format at short notice as of April 2020. We report on our experiences with the WebEncounter program, which was used for the first time in German-speaking countries. The program enables one-to-one encounters between SPs and students. Students receive an invitational email with brief instructions and background information on the case. SPs use case-specific criteria that are compliant with the learning objectives for digital evaluation during the encounter. A feedback session takes place immediately following the encounter. The SPs address the didactically relevant sections and can illustrate them with the corresponding video sequences. Finally, the students receive the links to the video recordings of the encounter and the feedback unit by email. Project description: The aim of this pilot study was to analyze the practicability of the program and its acceptance by students and SPs. In addition, we examined whether the operationalization of the learning objectives in the form of assessment items has an impact on the content and thematic development of courses in the area of doctor-patient communication. Methods: To implement the program, patient cases previously tested in communication seminars in Munich and Basel were rewritten and case-specific evaluation criteria were developed. SPs were trained to use the program, to present their patient figure online and to give feedback. The experience of those involved (faculty, SPs and SP trainers, students) in implementing the program was documented at various levels. The frequency and causes of technical problems were described. Student results on the patient cases and on the feedback items were collected quantitatively and, where possible, supplemented by free-text statements. Results: Data from 218/220 students in Basel and 120/127 students in Munich were collected and evaluated. Students were very satisfied with the patient cases, the encounter with the SPs and their feedback: 3.81±0.42. SPs experienced the training as an increase in their competence and the structured feedback as particularly positive. The training effort per SP was between 2.5 and 4 hours. The results show predominantly normally-distributed, case-specific sum scores of the evaluation criteria. The analysis of the individual assessment items refers to learning objectives that students find difficult to achieve (e.g. explicitly structuring the conversation). Problems in the technical implementation (<10 percent of the encounters) were due mainly to the use of insufficient hardware or internet connection problems. The need to define case-specific evaluation criteria triggered a discussion in the group of study directors about learning objectives and their operationalization. Summary: Web-based encounters can be built into the ongoing communication curriculum with reasonable effort. Training the SPs and heeding the technical requirements are of central importance. Practicing the virtual consultation was evaluated very positively by the students - in particular, the immediate feedback in the protected dialogue was appreciated by all involved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Physician-Patient Relations , Remote Consultation , Clinical Competence/statistics & numerical data , Feedback , Germany , Humans , Internet , Pilot Projects , Remote Consultation/standards , Switzerland
2.
Diabetes Metab Syndr ; 15(5): 102242, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397297

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased use of telemedicine in health care delivery. Telemedicine facilitates long-term clinical care for monitoring and prevention of complications of diabetes mellitus. GUIDELINES: Precise indications for teleconsultation, clinical care services which can be provided, and good clinical practices to be followed during teleconsultation are explained. Guidance on risk assessment and health education for diabetes risk factors, counselling for blood glucose monitoring, treatment compliance, and prevention of complications are described. CONCLUSION: The guidelines will help physicians in adopting teleconsultation for management of diabetes mellitus, facilitate access to diabetes care and improve health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Remote Consultation/standards , Biomedical Research/organization & administration , Biomedical Research/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Expert Testimony , Humans , India/epidemiology , Pandemics , Remote Consultation/methods , Remote Consultation/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards
3.
Cancer ; 127(22): 4177-4189, 2021 11 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363649

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Remote triage for suspected head and neck cancer (HNC) referrals was adopted by many institutions during the initial peak of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Its safety in this population has not been established. METHODS: A 16-week, prospective, multicenter national service evaluation was started on March 23, 2020. Suspected HNC referrals undergoing remote triage in UK secondary care centers were identified and followed up for a minimum of 6 months to record the cancer status. Triage was supported by risk stratification using a validated calculator. RESULTS: Data for 4568 cases were submitted by 41 centers serving a population of approximately 26 million. These represented 14.1% of the predicted maximum referrals for this population outside of pandemic times, and this gave the study a margin of error of 1.34% at 95% confidence. Completed 6-month follow-up data were available for 99.8% with an overall cancer rate of 5.6% (254 of 4557). The rates of triage were as follows: urgent imaging investigation, 25.4% (n = 1156); urgent face-to-face review, 27.8%; (n = 1268); assessment deferral, 30.3% (n = 1382); and discharge, 16.4% (n = 749). The corresponding missed cancers rates were 0.5% (5 of 1048), 0.3% (3 of 1149), 0.9% (12 of 1382), and 0.9% (7 of 747; P = .15). The negative predictive value for a nonurgent triage outcome and no cancer diagnosis was 99.1%. Overall harm was reported in 0.24% (11 of 4557) and was highest for deferred assessments (0.58%; 8 of 1382). CONCLUSIONS: Remote triage, incorporating risk stratification, may facilitate targeted investigations for higher risk patients and prevent unnecessary hospital attendance for lower risk patients. The risk of harm is low and may be reduced further with appropriate safety netting of deferred appointments. LAY SUMMARY: This large national study observed the widespread adoption of telephone assessment (supported by a risk calculator) of patients referred to hospital specialists with suspected head and neck cancer during the initial peak of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. The authors identified 4568 patients from 41 UK centers (serving a population of more than 26 million people) who were followed up for a minimum of 6 months. Late cancers were identified, whether reviewed or investigated urgently (0.4%) or nonurgently (0.9%), but the overall rate of harm was low (0.2%), with the highest rate being seen with deferred appointments (0.6%).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Head and Neck Neoplasms/diagnosis , Remote Consultation/methods , Triage/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Head and Neck Neoplasms/epidemiology , Head and Neck Neoplasms/therapy , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Remote Consultation/standards , Risk Assessment/methods , Triage/standards , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Young Adult
4.
Ann R Coll Surg Engl ; 103(7): 520-523, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288675

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In light of the COVID-19 recommendations from the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, we aimed to study patient and clinician satisfaction with a newly established telephone (TP) colorectal clinic service in lieu of traditional face-to-face (FTF) appointments. Comparative outcomes included patient versus clinician satisfaction; patient versus clinician desire to continue TP clinics postpandemic; and views of Specialty Trainee 3+ (ST3+)/Specialty Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors versus consultants on TP compared with FTF appointments. METHODS: We conducted a prospective service evaluation of patient and clinician satisfaction with colorectal surgery TP clinics between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020 in a British District General Hospital. RESULTS: Patients had higher satisfaction than clinicians with TP clinics: 91.5% versus 66.6% reported above-average experience [odds ratio (OR) = 5.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53 to 18.75, p = 0.01]. Clinicians had lower demand to continue TP clinics post-COVID-19 versus patients, with a trend towards significance (60% versus 82.9%, OR = 0.31, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.97, p = 0.08). ST3+/SAS doctors were more likely than consultants to find TP clinics inferior to FTF consultation for patient assessment (48.3% versus 23.7%, OR = 3.00, 95% CI 1.17 to 7.71, p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: While clinicians may be concerned that patient assessment suffers, patient satisfaction with TP clinics is high. There should be a place for TP clinics post-COVID-19 but there must be a robust process for patient selection as well as adequate training for current and future generations of clinicians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis , Medical Oncology/methods , Remote Consultation/methods , Telephone , Aftercare/methods , Aftercare/standards , Aftercare/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Colorectal Neoplasms/therapy , Humans , Infection Control/standards , Job Satisfaction , Medical Oncology/standards , Medical Oncology/statistics & numerical data , Patient Satisfaction/statistics & numerical data , Prospective Studies , Remote Consultation/standards , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Surgeons/psychology , Surgeons/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , United Kingdom/epidemiology
5.
J R Coll Physicians Edinb ; 51(1): 85-90, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194768

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine use has expanded rapidly to cope with increasing demand on services by delivering remote clinical review and monitoring of long-term conditions. Triaging individual patients to determine their suitability for telephone, video or face-to-face consultations is necessary. This is crucial in the context of COVID-19 to ensure doctor-patient safety. Telemedicine was shown to be safe and feasible in managing certain chronic diseases and providing patient education. When reviewing newly referred or long-term patients, different specialty clinics have different requirements for physical examination. Clinicians prefer face-to-face consultations at the initial visit to establish a doctor-patient relationship; telephone or video consultations are reasonable options for long-term patients where physical examination may not be needed. Video consultations, often aided by sophisticated devices and apps or medical assistants, are useful to facilitate remote physical examination. Most patients prefer telemedicine as it saves time and travel cost and provides better access to appointments.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 , Chronic Disease/therapy , Physical Examination/methods , Remote Consultation , Telemedicine , Ambulatory Care/methods , Ambulatory Care/standards , Ambulatory Care/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Forecasting , Humans , Long-Term Care/trends , Physician-Patient Relations , Remote Consultation/methods , Remote Consultation/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/standards
6.
Educ Prim Care ; 32(4): 237-244, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1177213

ABSTRACT

Medical students are considered as 'essential workers' within the National Health Service (NHS) and the delivery of clinical experience is essential to their learning and progression into the workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the delivery of clinical placements in primary care; GPs are currently delivering the majority of consultations using telephone or video methods and difficulties in attaining placement experience are being encountered by medical students. Virtual remote consultations are an appropriate adjunct to conventional face-to-face patient encounters and could facilitate students to attain core learning outcomes. This article describes some of the approaches that enable remote (home) virtual patient encounters in Primary Care for medical students. These are categorised as methods that a) enable remote access into GP clinical systems, b) enable remote access into individual patient consultations and c) enable an observational-only experience. Key considerations are highlighted to enable safe and effective implementation of remote virtual consultations, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each method. These include patient consent, confidentiality, data sharing and protection, professionalism, student agreements and data gathering templates. It is hoped that sharing of these methods of virtual consulting will support the ongoing delivery of Primary Care education across medical schools.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , General Practice/education , Remote Consultation/organization & administration , Computer Security , Confidentiality , Health Information Exchange , Humans , Pandemics , Professionalism , Remote Consultation/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , United Kingdom
8.
Aten Primaria ; 53(4): 101983, 2021 04.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141614

ABSTRACT

The current circumstances cause by the COVID-19 force primary care doctors to find out new ways to guarantee the health care of our type 2 diabetes patients. There is evidence that supports the remote consultation efficacy in the glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Facing the rapid adaptation of clinical practice to the remote consultation use, from de Diabetes Group of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SemFyC), we have prepared a document embodied in a telematic action / monitoring algorithm in the care of patients with type 2 diabetes.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , Checklist , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Remote Consultation/methods , Combined Modality Therapy , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diagnosis , Diet Therapy/methods , Exercise Therapy , Humans , Hypoglycemic Agents/therapeutic use , Medication Adherence , Remote Consultation/standards
11.
Saudi Med J ; 42(1): 110-115, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006807

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine among physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. To assess the awareness about telemedicine among physicians and determine their opinions about telemedicine in the post-pandemic era. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted at government hospitals (King Faisal Medical Complex [KFMC]-King Abdulaziz Specialist Hospital [KASH]) in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), from May-August 2020. Taif is a small city in the western region of KSA with a population of 689,000 and 2 main hospitals (KFMC & KASH) which also serve rural areas close to Taif city. A total of 36 physicians practiced telemedicine, only 25 physicians accepted to participate in this study. RESULTS: Thirty-six percent of the responders believed that telemedicine could improve the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention and 44% believed that the quality of care was enhanced using telemedicine. Difficulty in reaching the correct diagnosis due to the lack of physical examination was one of the disadvantages that faced the participants. CONCLUSION: Telemedicine should be part of medical services but should not completely replace physicians' personal interaction. Telemedicine could be continued for stable remotely residing patients even after the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/epidemiology , Physicians , Remote Consultation , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Facilities and Services Utilization , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quality of Health Care , Remote Consultation/standards , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology
13.
Urology ; 147: 14-20, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880619

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of a telemedicine service for ureteric colic patients in reducing the number of unnecessary face-to-face consultations and shortening waiting time for appointments. METHODS: A telemedicine workflow was implemented as a quality improvement study using the Plan-Do-Study-Act method. All patients presenting with ureteric colic without high-risk features of fever, severe pain, and hydronephrosis, were recruited, and face-to-face appointments to review scan results were replaced with phone consultations. Data were prospectively collected over 3 years (January 2017 to December 2019). Patient outcomes including the reduction in face-to-face review visits, time to review, reattendance and intervention rates, were tracked in an interrupted time-series analysis, and qualitative feedback was obtained from patients and clinicians. RESULTS: Around 53.2% of patients presenting with ureteric colic were recruited into the telemedicine workflow. A total of 465 patients (46.2%) had normal scan results and 250 patients (24.9%) did not attend their scan appointments, hence reducing the number of face-to-face consultations by 71.1%. A total of 230 patients (22.9%) required subsequent follow-up with urology, while 61 patients (6.1%) were referred to other specialties. Mean (SD) time to review was 30.0 (6.2) days, 6-month intervention rate was 3.4% (n = 34) and unplanned reattendance rate was 3.2% (n = 32). Around 93.1% of patients reported satisfaction with the service. CONCLUSION: The ureteric colic telemedicine service successfully and sustainably reduced the number of face-to-face consultations and time to review without compromising on patient safety. The availability of this telemedicine service has become even more important in helping us provide care to patients with ureteric colic in the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Quality Improvement , Remote Consultation/organization & administration , Renal Colic/diagnosis , Ureteral Calculi/diagnosis , Urology/organization & administration , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Health Plan Implementation/organization & administration , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infection Control/standards , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Safety/standards , Patient Satisfaction , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , Qualitative Research , Remote Consultation/standards , Renal Colic/etiology , Renal Colic/therapy , Singapore/epidemiology , Telephone , Tertiary Care Centers/organization & administration , Tertiary Care Centers/standards , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Ureter/diagnostic imaging , Ureteral Calculi/complications , Ureteral Calculi/therapy , Urology/methods , Urology/standards
14.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 74(2): 407-447, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-778524

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the widespread adoption of technology-enabled care in the NHS.1 Moving into phase two of the response, the continuing use of audio-visual technology is expected, where appropriate, to be integral in the provision of safe, quality patient care.2 A clinical need therefore exists to identify when care can be safely delivered remotely using audio-visual technology and when there is a need for in-person contact.  At Salisbury Foundation Trust (SFT), during phase one of the NHS response to Covid-19, the decision to treat upper limb trauma patients in-person or remotely was made using clinical screening criteria. For many patients, audio-visual appointments offered a practical, time efficient way of accessing their reconstructive team for assessment, advice and post-operative care. However, a subset of patients was identified by the team as requiring at least one in-person consultation to minimize perceived clinical risk and to optimize quality outcomes.  In order to understand more fully the challenges and successes of technology-enabled care to date, a national survey of practice across hand units in the UK was conducted. We present here some of our key findings and propose the need to develop nationally agreed screening criteria to determine how and when technology enabled outpatient care can be used in the management of acute upper limb trauma. The results of this survey forms part of a series of projects currently underway looking at the efficacy of audio-visual care in upper limb trauma, including a multicentre observational study.


Subject(s)
Ambulatory Care , Arm Injuries , COVID-19 , Clinical Decision-Making , Remote Consultation , Ambulatory Care/ethics , Ambulatory Care/trends , Arm Injuries/diagnosis , Arm Injuries/surgery , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clinical Decision-Making/ethics , Clinical Decision-Making/methods , Humans , Physical Distancing , Quality of Health Care , Remote Consultation/methods , Remote Consultation/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom
16.
World J Urol ; 39(6): 1991-1996, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-754594

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic compelled urologists to change access to healthcare, especially for oncology patients. Teleconsultation is a safe way to receive medical advice without a risk of infection, and was implemented urgently in our academic centres. Our purpose was to evaluate patient and physician satisfaction with teleconsultation set up during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: From March 16th 2020, all face-to-face consultations were cancelled in France, except for emergencies. Teleconsultation was started immediately by five senior urologists in two academic hospitals. All patients received an email survey including the validated Teleconsultation Satisfaction Questionnaire (TSQ) and demographic questions. Data were collected prospectively. Physicians also responded to the TSQ. Patient satisfaction was measured objectively with the validated 14-item TSQ. Each item was scored on a 5-point Likert scale. Factors associated with positive satisfaction with teleconsultation were assessed by multivariable logistic regression. RESULTS: Overall, 105 patients replied to the survey (91.3%). Median age was 66 years (IQR: 55‒71) and 95 were men (90.5%). Median overall TSQ score was 67 (IQR: 60‒69); teleconsultation was judged to be a good experience by 88 patients (83.8%) and four physicians (80%). Patients who met their surgeon for the first time were more likely to have a good experience (OR = 1.2 [95% CI 1.1‒1.5], p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: Introduced rapidly during the COVID-19 lockdown, urology teleconsultation attained a high level of satisfaction among both patients and physicians. A major change in telemedicine use is foreseen in the post COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19 , Patient Preference/statistics & numerical data , Remote Consultation , Urologic Diseases , Urology Department, Hospital , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Female , France/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Organizational Innovation , Remote Consultation/methods , Remote Consultation/standards , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Risk Adjustment/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Urologic Diseases/diagnosis , Urologic Diseases/epidemiology , Urologic Diseases/therapy , Urology Department, Hospital/organization & administration , Urology Department, Hospital/trends
17.
Orphanet J Rare Dis ; 15(1): 228, 2020 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-736401

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the European Reference Network on Rare Bone Diseases (ERN BOND) coordination team and Italian rare bone diseases healthcare professionals created the "COVID-19 Helpline for Rare Bone Diseases" in an attempt to provide high-quality information and expertise on rare bone diseases remotely to patients and healthcare professionals. The present position statement describes the key characteristics of the Helpline initiative, along with the main aspects and topics that recurrently emerged as central for rare bone diseases patients and professionals. The main topics highlighted are general recommendations, pulmonary complications, drug treatment, trauma, pregnancy, children and elderly people, and patient associations role. The successful experience of the "COVID-19 Helpline for Rare Bone Diseases" launched in Italy could serve as a primer of gold-standard remote care for rare bone diseases for the other European countries and globally. Furthermore, similar COVID-19 helplines could be considered and applied for other rare diseases in order to implement remote patients' care.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Bone Diseases/complications , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Rare Diseases/complications , Remote Consultation/standards , Aged , Algorithms , Bone Diseases/therapy , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pregnancy , Rare Diseases/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Wounds and Injuries
20.
Indian J Ophthalmol ; 68(7): 1316-1327, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615718

ABSTRACT

While telemedicine has been around for a few decades, it has taken great importance and prominence in recent times. With the fear of the virus being transmitted, patients and physicians across specialties are using consultation via a telephone call or video from the safety of their homes. Though tele-ophthalmology has been popular for screening, there are no clear guidelines on how to comprehensively manage patients seeking advice and treatment for a particular eye condition. Some major barriers to diagnosis and management are compromised detailed examination, no measurement of the visual acuity or intraocular pressure and a retinal evaluation not being feasible. Despite these limitations, we do need to help those patients who need immediate care or attention. Hence, this article has put together some guidelines to follow during such consultations. They are important and timely due to the medicolegal and financial implications.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Eye Diseases/therapy , Mass Screening/standards , Ophthalmology/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Remote Consultation/standards , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Eye Diseases/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2
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