Benefits of phone consultation for endoscopy-related clinics in the COVID-19 pandemic
AuthorPu, LZCT; Singh, G; Rajadurai, A; Terbah, R; De Silva, R; Vaughan, R; Efthymiou, M; Chandran, S
Source TitleJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
University of Melbourne Author/sVaughan, Rhys; Terbah, Ryma; EFTHYMIOU, MARIOS; EFTHYMIOU, MARIOS; Chandran, Sujievvan
Medicine and Radiology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPu, L. Z. C. T., Singh, G., Rajadurai, A., Terbah, R., De Silva, R., Vaughan, R., Efthymiou, M. & Chandran, S. (2020). Benefits of phone consultation for endoscopy-related clinics in the COVID-19 pandemic. JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY AND HEPATOLOGY, 36 (4), pp.1064-1080. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgh.15292.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
BACKGROUND AND AIM: During COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions to in-person consultations were introduced with a rise in telehealth. An indirect benefit of telehealth could be better attendance. This study aimed to assess "failure-to-attend" (FTA) rate and satisfaction for two endoscopy-related compulsory telehealth clinics during the COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: Consecutive patients booked for endoscopy-related telehealth clinics at a tertiary hospital were prospectively assessed. In-person clinic control data were assessed retrospectively. Sample size was calculated to detect an anticipated increase in attendance of 8%. Secondary outcomes included FTA differences between clinics and evaluation of patients and doctors satisfaction. Satisfaction was assessed based on six Likert scale questions used in previous telehealth research and asked to both patients and doctors (6Q_score). This study was exempt from IRB review after institutional IRB review. RESULTS: There were 691 patients booked for appointments in our endoscopy clinics during the study periods (373 in 2020). FTA rates were lowered by half during the compulsory telehealth clinics (12.6% to 6.4%, P < 0.01). The patient 6Q_score was higher for the advanced endoscopy clinic (84.6% vs 73.8%, P < 0.01), while the doctor 6Q_score was similar between both advanced clinics and post endoscopy clinics (91.1% vs 92.5% respectively, P = 0.80). An in-person follow-up consultation was suggested for 3.5% of the appointments, while the necessity of physical examination was flagged in 5.1%. CONCLUSIONS: The use of phone consultations in endoscopy-related clinics during the COVID-19 outbreak has improved FTA rates while demonstrating high satisfaction rates. The need for in-person follow-up consultations and physical examination were low.
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