Telemedicine yielded reduced costs, high patient satisfaction in a sports medicine setting

Use of telemedicine in a sports medicine setting may provide efficient care to patients, reduced costs and high levels of patient satisfaction, according to results.

Alfred Atanda Jr., MD, and colleagues compared time for clinical visits and wait times between patients younger than 18 years who had either a telemedicine visit or an in-person visit at a tertiary pediatric orthopedic center. Researchers calculated costs to patients and department, and a five-item satisfaction survey was completed by patients regarding their telemedicine experience.

Compared with in-patient visits, results showed patients who had a telemedicine visit had shorter visits and shorter wait times, greater percentages of time spent with the provider, lower labor costs and lower travel costs. Researchers found telemedicine visits saved families 85 miles of driving and $50 in costs per visit. Telemedicine visits also saved $24 per patient in labor cost. Overall, researchers noted more than 90% of patients who had a telemedicine visit were satisfied with the service.

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