Clinicians’ User Experience of Telemedicine in Neurosurgery During COVID-19

Won Hyung A. Ryu, Mena G. Kerolus, Vincent C. Traynelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Restricted access to hospitals due to the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly altered practice patterns for elective neurosurgical care. Particularly, telemedicine has become the primary modality of patient visits for nonemergent conditions. This study aimed to characterize user experiences of neurosurgeons and advanced practice providers focusing on perceived utility and barriers of telemedicine in management of elective neurosurgical patients during COVID-19. Methods: An online survey was sent to clinicians involved in neurosurgical care using telemedicine with questions focusing on frequency of utilization, duration of patient encounters, benefits of telemedicine, and barriers to current forms of remote patient visits. Survey responses were stratified by clinical position (neurosurgeon vs. advanced practice provider) and subspecialty focus (cranial vs. spinal neurosurgery). Results: The survey was completed by 14 of 17 eligible clinicians. Respondents included 10 neurosurgeons and 4 APPs with 57% specializing in cranial neurosurgery and 43% specializing in spinal neurosurgery. During the COVID-19 period, 78% of respondents used teleconference/video conference visits multiple times in a week, and 86% planned to continue using telemedicine after the pandemic. The most common barrier for telemedicine was the inability to perform a neurological examination, while the most common perceived benefit was increased convenience for patients. Conclusions: During the COVID-19 period, telemedicine was heavily relied on to ensure the continuation of perioperative care for patients with elective neurosurgical pathologies. While clinicians identified numerous barriers for current telemedicine platforms, the use of telemedicine will likely continue, as it has provided unique benefits for patients, clinicians, and hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e359-e367
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Volume146
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Neurosurgery
  • Telemedicine
  • User experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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