Currently submitted to: JMIR Formative Research
Date Submitted: Jul 23, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 26, 2019 - Sep 20, 2019
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Bringing specialist radiotherapy to the patient: The use of teleconsultations in a regional Stereotactic Radiosurgery service
The NHS’ ‘Long term plan’ details plans to make digital interactions available to all patients in five years. Teleconsultations can improve access to specialist services however there is a lack of UK evidence for the use of teleconsultations in an Oncology setting. Here we describe a service evaluation of teleconsultations for patients attending a regional brain metastases (BM) clinic. These patients have unique travel restrictions that prevent them from driving.
To assess the feasibility and acceptability of a teleconsultation service in this setting.
From April 2018 to October 2018 all patients attending the BM clinic were offered the choice of a teleconsultation in place of a face-to-face appointment. Feedback was assessed using a satisfaction questionnaire and data was collected on all clinic attendances.
Sixty-nine individual patients had 119 appointments over the duration of the pilot. Of these, 36 were new patient appointments and 73 were follow ups. Of these, 24 patients (35%) took part in 41 (34%) teleconsultations. User satisfaction was high and no patients who took part in a teleconsultation reverted to face-to-face appointments. These patients avoided 2521 miles (61.6 miles per appointment) of hospital associated travel and travel costs of £441.48 (£10.78 per appointment).
Teleconsultations appear to be acceptable in this cohort of patients who have brain metastases attending a regional stereotactic radiosurgery service with the potential for significant savings in travel and expenses evident.
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