Telemedicine in Radiation Oncology: Is It Here to Stay? Impacts on Patient Care and Resident Education. International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics Gutkin, P. M., Prionas, N. D., Minneci, M. O., Allen, E. 3., Balazy, K. E., Rahimy, E., Chang, D. T., Horst, K. C. 2020; 108 (2): 416–20


PURPOSE: Telemedicine was rapidly and ubiquitously adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are growing discussions as to its role postpandemic.METHODS AND MATERIALS: We surveyed patients, radiation oncology (RO) attendings, and RO residents to assess their experience with telemedicine. Surveys addressed quality of patient care and utility of telemedicine for teaching and learning core competencies. Satisfaction was rated on a 6-point Likert-type scale. The quality of teaching and learning was graded on a 5-point Likert-type scale, with overall scores calculated by the average rating of each core competency required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (range, 1-5).RESULTS: Responses were collected from 56 patients, 12 RO attendings, and 13 RO residents. Patient feedback was collected at 17 new-patient, 22 on-treatment, and 17 follow-up video visits. Overall, 88% of patients were satisfied with virtual visits. A lower proportion of on-treatment patients rated their virtual visit as "very satisfactory" (68.2% vs 76.5% for new patients and 82.4% for follow-ups). Only 5.9% of the new patients and none of the follow-up patients were dissatisfied, and 27% of on-treatment patients were dissatisfied. The large majority of patients (88%) indicated that they would continue to use virtual visits as long as a physical examination was not needed. Overall scores for medical training were 4.1 out of 5 (range, 2.8-5.0) by RO residents and 3.2 (range, 2.0-4.0) by RO attendings. All residents and 92% of attendings indicated they would use telemedicine again; however, most indicated that telemedicine is best for follow-up visits.CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine is a convenient means of delivering care to patients, with some limitations demonstrated for on-treatment patients. The majority of both patients and providers are interested in using telemedicine again, and it will likely continue to supplement patient care.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.06.047

View details for PubMedID 32890524