Session Type: Poster Session B
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: The Covid-19 pandemic holds multiple challenges for the healthcare system. Quick adoptions and adjustments are the mainstays during these times. Hygiene management and plans in a primary care center for Covid-19, especially for prone patients such as patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases receiving immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapies, are difficult. Nonetheless, monitoring of these treatments must be ensured. As a result, implementation of telephone visits was sought and rapidly achieved for most of the outpatient consultations.
The aim of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the opinion of the patients regarding telephone consultations as a substitute for regular outpatient visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: Patients were pre-screened for applicability and availability of a telephone consultation. After four weeks of mixed outpatient clinics (physical visits and majorly telephone visits), we performed a survey to inform our current concept during the outbreak. Patients (n=104) were randomly selected assuring to pick visits throughout the consulting hours. A 14-item questionnaire was developed and applied (graduation from 1 [do not agree at all]) to 5 [fully agree]). Additionally, we noted changes in therapy.
Results: On average, patients were 54 years old and for the most part female (69.2%). In general, patients reported an high agreement for the telephone visit (median 5 for the first six items: questions were equally answered as in regular visits; symptoms were reported sufficiently, and readily; telephone visit adequate if no acute problems were present; time saving; nonetheless well looked after). The quality of the connection did not influence the consultation and many (median 4) would participate in future telephone visits. Patients highly agreed to implement telephone visits as an additional tool for outpatient clinics despite the pandemic (median 5), however patients were divided as to favour physical visits or telephone or video consultations. Dosage adjustments were made in 14.4%, change of therapy at least in 5.7% of cases.
Conclusion: The participation in a pre-screened telephone consultation as an additive tool in the outpatient care of patients with rheumatic disease showed a high level of acceptance. It remains a matter of ongoing health services research as to which extent telephone and/or video consultations should steadily be implemented in outpatient rheumatology clinics, even after the Covid-19 outbreak, with regard to the current deficits in rheumatologic care, especially in Germany.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Drott U, Braner A, Kollewe T, Burkhardt H, Meier F. Evaluation of Telephone Consultations in Germany as an Additional Tool in Outpatient Rheumatology Clinics During the COVID-19 Pandemic [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020; 72 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/evaluation-of-telephone-consultations-in-germany-as-an-additional-tool-in-outpatient-rheumatology-clinics-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/. Accessed January 17, 2022.
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