PMID: 10534849Oct 27, 1999Paper

Realtime remote consultation in the outpatient clinic--experience at a teaching hospital

Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare
A C WanA Darzi


We used an outpatients' telemedicine clinic to evaluate remote consultation in a London hospital practice. Video-images were relayed by ISDN at 384 kbit/s between the main hospital site and the sister hospital. Teleconsultation was evaluated in three different specialties: pain management, orthopaedics and general surgery. Medical personnel involved in the consultation consisted of a resident or senior house officer at the remote site and a senior registrar or consultant at the main hospital. A total of 146 consultations was held over a six-month period in the three clinical specialties involved. Questionnaires were completed by 58% of patients and over 90% of the medical personnel involved. The mean scores (on a five-point Likert scale) for physician satisfaction at the main and distant site were 3.6 and 3.8, respectively. On a scale of 0-10, 92% of patients rated the consultation 8-10 and 90% indicated that they would return for a similar consultation. Seventy-three per cent felt that a similar consultation from their referring doctor would have been appropriate. Confidence in the diagnosis was high among the specialists at the main hospital site.


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