A telemedicine program saved patients substantial time and money by not requiring travel to centralized areas, researchers concluded after conducting an analysis involving 195 cancer operations. Moreover, greater continuity of care and patient satisfaction were achieved. Under the Specialist-Directed Telemedicine Model, participants whose care was complex and included severe comorbidities visited local VA medical centers in Florida and videoconferenced with a surgical oncologist in Miami, who directed treatment. Investigators looked at average length of stay, unplanned readmissions, mileage saved, travel costs, and patient satisfaction. Among the results:
- There were 7 unplanned readmissions.
- Travel distance was reduced by an average 81%.
- 86% of patients said they felt that care more accessible.
Jue J, Spector S, Spector S. Telemedicine broadening access to care for complex cases. J Surg Res. 2017;220:164-170. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2017.06.085.