Telemedicine for clinical management of diabetes - a process analysis of video consultations

Farhad Fatehi, Leonard C. Gray, Anthony W. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analysed 56 video consultations provided in a 5-month period by two endocrinologists from the tele-endocrinology clinic of a tertiary teaching hospital in Brisbane. The patients were suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and 41% of them had at least one diabetic complication. Their mean age was 51 years and 45% were female. The consultations were provided to ten cities located 210-1800 km from Brisbane. A questionnaire was developed for analysing the video visits. It comprised 26 questions, arranged in six sections: (1) Patient characteristics, (2) Reason for referral, (3) Procedures and findings, (4) Recommendations, (5) Telehealth logistics, (6) Consultant's opinion. In 66% of consultations a nurse accompanied the patient. The specialist requested the nurse to perform a physical examination in 18% of these cases. No change in medications was made in 36% of the consultations. The most frequent recommendations were requesting laboratory tests (75%), insulin dose adjustments (39%) and referrals to an allied health professional (13%). Out of 56 consultations, the specialists indicated the need to perform a physical examination for 12 patients that was not possible remotely. However, they requested an in-person (face-to-face) visit for three patients. Nevertheless they believed that in 34% of the cases they could have made a better decision if the consultation had been in-person. Video consultation can substitute for a large proportion of in-person specialist consultations for people with diabetes who are referred to endocrinology specialists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-382
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

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