Telemedicine a viable option for post-op patients

Monday, December 2, 2019

A specialist in pediatric orthopaedics, Daniel Grant, MD, sees patients from all over the region.

Telemedicine, he says, helps make life easier for some of his postoperative patients who live a great distance away.

“Some of my patients drive three hours one way to see me,” Dr. Grant said. “I don’t want them to have to make that drive just for me to tell them their wound looks good or to talk about an issue they may be having with their cast fitting. It’s something we can take care of in a video chat.”

WVU Medicine already has an infrastructure in place, making telemedicine a viable option for postoperative care. Through the MyWVUChart app, WVU Medicine providers can connect with any patient in West Virginia who has a smartphone or other video-enabled device. The visits are similar to in-person visits and can be used for a scheduled follow-up, routine monitoring, or management of arising issues.

“People really like it,” Grant said. “It saves them time and money for a quick visit and, also, we don’t have to prepare a room for a patient.”

A recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) study outlined the benefits of telemedicine for post-op care, including decreased driving distance and wait times, and cost savings to both the patient and healthcare systems.

It can also significantly decrease patients’ “cycle time,” which is the total time spent from the beginning to the end of a clinical encounter.

Telemedicine has received high patient satisfaction without sacrificing the quality of care, according to the study.

Providers who are interested in learning more about telemedicine options can contact Shannon McAllister, assistant vice president, population health and telemedicine, WVU Medicine.

Daniel Grant, MD, demonstrates technology similar to telemedicine visits with his patients.