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Patient Satisfaction and Healthcare Utilization Using Telemedicine in Liver Transplant Recipients

  • Long B. Le
  • Harman K. Rahal
  • Matthew R. Viramontes
  • Katherine G. Meneses
  • Tien S. Dong
  • Sammy Saab
Original Article

Abstract

Background

Post-liver transplantation care is limited to tertiary care centers. Concentration at expert centers leads to high-volume clinics with long wait times and decreased accessibility.

Aim

To assess whether telemedicine can be utilized to overcome barriers to care while sustaining strong patient–physician relationships.

Methods

The Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire-18, Telemedicine Satisfaction Questionnaire, and Health Utilization Questionnaire were used to assess patient satisfaction and healthcare utilization among patients who received care via video connection (telemedicine group) and in clinic (control group). Propensity matching was performed. Scores for questionnaires were reported as mean and standard deviations (SD) and were compared by one-way multivariate analysis of variance and one-way analysis of variance.

Results

There were 21 matched telemedicine patients in our study. Overall mean age (± SD) was 51 (± 5.62) years and 52 (± 6.12) years for telemedicine group and control group, respectively. General patient satisfaction was similar between the two groups (p = 0.89). While telemedicine patients were just as satisfied with communication and interpersonal approach compared to clinic patients, they experienced significantly less commute (p < 0.0001) and waiting (p < 0.0001) times. Given ease of using telemedicine without compromising patient–physician interaction, 90% (19/21) of the telemedicine patients opted to use the service again.

Conclusion

Telemedicine appeared to be both a time and cost-saving alternative to clinic follow-up without compromise of the valuable patient–physician relationship. Telemedicine has the potential to improve clinic flow, reduce wait times, and decrease costs for liver transplant recipients.

Keywords

Telemedicine Follow-up Post-liver transplant 

Notes

Author’s contribution

SS and LBL were involved in study concept and design; LBL, HKR, MRV, TD, and KGM drafted the manuscript; SS and TSD were involved in critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content; SS was involved in study supervision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Long B. Le
    • 1
  • Harman K. Rahal
    • 2
  • Matthew R. Viramontes
    • 3
  • Katherine G. Meneses
    • 3
  • Tien S. Dong
    • 2
  • Sammy Saab
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Olive View Medical CenterUniversity of California at Los AngelesSylmar, Los AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Pfleger Liver InstituteUCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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