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Patients Comfortable With Postoperative Telehealth Visits

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28, 2019 -- Despite initial hesitancy, plastic surgery patients are satisfied with postoperative telehealth visits, according to a study published in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Christopher D. Funderburk, M.D., from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, New Hampshire, and colleagues developed a workflow for postoperative patients in the telehealth setting using the Lean Six Sigma methodology and tested it in 72 patients. Preoperative and postoperative surveys were conducted.

The researchers found that nearly three-quarters of patients preoperatively (73 percent) preferred in-person follow-up visits in the clinic. However, the postoperative survey revealed that nearly 100 percent of patients were satisfied with the telehealth experience. Nearly all patients said that their questions were answered (96 percent) and that they would use telehealth again (97 percent).

"These results show that plastic surgery telehealth can enable real-time clinical decision making, expand access to providers, and decrease patient travel and wait times," Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery editor-in-chief Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., said in a statement. "Telemedicine programs like this could improve health care access in underserved, rural areas and eliminate barriers to care."

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Posted: August 2019

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