Incorporating telemedicine in lieu of face-to-face office visits or consults is generally associated with high patient satisfaction in orthopedic surgery. In a new study, orthopedic surgeon Eric J. Strauss, MD and colleagues at NYU Langone Health assessed whether day-of-surgery video or phone calls might likewise improve patient satisfaction.
“Effective communication with patients following outpatient surgery can play a major role in facilitating a successful treatment outcome and ensuring their overall satisfaction,” says Dr. Strauss.
For the study published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, three surgeons were randomly assigned to one of three communication methods: no contact with patients after their same-day discharge, contact via a phone call, or contact via a video call. Among 251 enrolled patients, survey response rates were greater in both the video call and phone call groups than in the no-contact group.
In a separate satisfaction questionnaire, the video group also scored the highest, followed by the phone group. Patients who received a video call reported a strong preference for that form of communication in the future, supporting its ability to enhance patient satisfaction. “Contacting patients on the night of their procedure, particularly in the form of a video call where the patient can see their surgeon and point out any areas of concern, is a simple and very useful approach,” notes Dr. Strauss.