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Transition to virtual appointments for interventional neuroradiology due to the COVID-19 pandemic: a survey of satisfaction
  1. Ronda Lun1,2,
  2. Gregory Walker1,2,3,4,
  3. Zeinab Daham2,5,
  4. Tim Ramsay5,6,
  5. Eduardo Portela de Oliveira4,
  6. Mohammed Kassab4,7,
  7. Robert Fahed1,2,4,
  8. Aiman Quateen4,
  9. Howard Lesiuk7,
  10. Marlise P dos Santos4,
  11. Brian Drake2,4,7,8
  1. 1 Neurology, Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Ottawa Stroke Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Department of Medicine – Division of Neurology, Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
  4. 4 Department of Medical Imaging, Section of Interventional Neuroradiology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6 School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7 Department of Neurosurgery, Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  8. 8 Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ronda Lun, Neurology, Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Ottawa, ON K1Y 4E9, Canada; rlun{at}


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.

  • standards
  • technology
  • economics
  • intervention

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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.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.