Telemedicine can help surgical practices thrive through the pandemic

A new study documenting patient size at the Stony Brook Bariatric Weight Loss and Metabolism Center reveals that follow-up telehealth visits are highly effective during COVID-19 pandemic disease. The study, published in the December issue of the History of surgery, serves as an example that surgical practices can continue to thrive with the help of telemedicine during the pandemic.

Taking telemedicine has been extremely effective for our use and can certainly be for other uses during this pandemic. Our patients and multiple health care providers involved in metabolic health services and bariatric surgery find telemedicine effective, as personal care is not necessary for some aspects of patient and follow-up care, and telemedicine saves time and reduces exposure risks for both patients and providers. “

Aurora D. Pryor, MD, Lead Author, Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center and Professor of Surgery, School of Rehabilitation Medicine, Stony Brook University

The study, titled “Impact of telemedicine adoption on the use of multidisciplinary bariatric surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” records the size of patients classified as pre-telehealth and post-telehealth – times of the same period between February and April 2020. Post is health-health when the practice included telehealth services according to pandemic guidelines.

A total of 506 patient visits were recorded in the pre-telehealth period, with 162 new patient visits and 344 follow-ups. A total of 413 patients were enrolled in the post-telehealth period, with 77 new patient visits and 336 follow-ups.

Following the implementation of telehealth, new visits for surgeons decreased by 75 per cent over that period, and follow – up surgery visits decreased by 55 per cent. However, during telehealth there was a 27 per cent increase for other non-surgical practitioners involved in the use of Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center, an indication that patients are able to continue with their high level of care after surgery or before elective surgery.

Dr. Pryor states that this increase in patient follow-up visits for some services due to telemedicine practices may help with bariatric surgery practices, and other potential surgical practices, under the full care of patients during the course of the disease. pandemic – especially since elective surgery has had a major impact on pandemic.

She and her consortium conclude that while a new number of patient visits across the board has declined, the increase in follow-up visits for some health care services provides a template for adoption of a multidisciplinary telehealth clinic in a post-pandemic world.