Objective: To assess the introduction of telemedicine as an alternative to the traditional face-to-face encounters with vascular surgery patients in the era of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: A retrospective review of prospectively collected data on face-to-face and telemedicine interactions was conducted at a multisite health care system from January to August 2020 in vascular surgery patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The end point is direct patient satisfaction comparison between face-to-face and telemedicine encounters/interactions prior and during the pandemic. Results: There were 6262 patient encounters from January 1, 2020, to August 6, 2020. Of the total encounters, 790 (12.6%) were via telemedicine, which were initiated on March 11, 2020, after the World Health Organization's declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic. These telemedicine encounters were readily adopted and embraced by both the providers and patients and remain popular as an option to patients for all types of visits. Of these patients, 78.7% rated their overall health care experience during face-to-face encounters as very good and 80.6% of patients rated their health care experience during telemedicine encounters as very good (P =.78). Conclusions: Although the COVID-19 pandemic has produced unprecedented consequences to the practice of medicine and specifically of vascular surgery, our multisite health care system has been able to swiftly adapt and adopt telemedicine technologies for the care of our complex patients. Most important, the high quality of patient-reported satisfaction and health care experience has remained unchanged.
- Connected care
- Health care system
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine