Background The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way medicine is practiced, including the implementation of virtual care in many specialties. In the field of interventional neuroradiology (INR), virtual clinics are an uncommon practice with minimal literature to support its use. Our objective was to report prospective, single-centre data regarding patient and physician experience with virtual INR clinics for routine follow-up appointments.
Methods We surveyed all patients that participated in a virtual INR clinic follow-up appointment at our hospital over a 3 month period. Information gathered included length of appointment delays (ie, wait times), length of appointment times, overall satisfaction, and perceived safety metrics. A survey was also sent out to all physicians who participated in virtual clinics with similar questions.
Results 118/122 patients and 6/6 physicians completed the survey. Wait times before previous in-person appointments were perceived to be much longer than virtual appointments, whereas in-person appointment times were longer. 112/118 (94.9%) patients and 4/6 (67%) physicians reported general satisfaction with their virtual clinic experience. There were 8/118 patients who felt their conditions could not be safely assessed virtually, compared with 1/6 (17%) physicians. Lastly, 72.2% of patients reported that they would prefer virtual or telephone visits in the future for non-urgent follow-up, and 5/6 (83%) of physicians reported the same.
Conclusion Virtual INR clinics are more efficient and are preferred among patients and physicians for non-urgent follow-up appointments. Our study demonstrates the feasibility of a virtual platform for INR care, which could be sustainable for future practice.
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RL and GW contributed equally.
Contributors RL and GW contributed equally to this paper. GW, RF, and BD conceptualized the project. GW and ZD performed data acquisition. RL performed data analysis. All authors participated in interpretation of the data. RL drafted the manuscript, and all authors contributed to revising/editing for intellectual content.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study received research ethics exemption from the Ottawa Health Science Network Research Ethics Board. The study involved implied consent via survey completion. A master list linking identifying information and survey responses was not kept.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.
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