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Teleconsultation in vascular surgery: a 13 year single centre experience


Schmidt, Christian A; Schmidt-Weitmann, Sabine H; Lachat, Mario L; Brockes, Christiane M (2014). Teleconsultation in vascular surgery: a 13 year single centre experience. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 20(1):24-28.

Abstract

The University Hospital of Zurich has provided an email-based medical consultation service for the general public since 1999. We examined the enquiries in a 13-year period to identify those related to vascular surgery (based on 22 ICD-10 codes specific for vascular surgery). There were 40,062 questions, of which 643 (1.6%) were selected by ICD-10 codes. After exclusion of diagnoses not relevant to vascular surgery, 139 questions remained, i.e. an average rate of about one per month. The mean age of the users was 43 years (range 19-88). Most users (61.2%) were women. The majority of users asked questions about their own health problems (79%) with varicose veins and spider veins accounting for 63% of all questions. Arterial diseases accounted for 30%. The patient's intention in contacting the service was to obtain advice on treatment options (37%), information about a diagnosis or symptoms (27%), or a second opinion (15%). The online service responded with detailed information and advice (87%) and suggested a referral to the family doctor or a specialist in 75%. Most patients (82%) rated the service overall as good or very good. It appears likely that telemedicine and in particular email teleconsultations will increase in vascular surgery in the future.

Abstract

The University Hospital of Zurich has provided an email-based medical consultation service for the general public since 1999. We examined the enquiries in a 13-year period to identify those related to vascular surgery (based on 22 ICD-10 codes specific for vascular surgery). There were 40,062 questions, of which 643 (1.6%) were selected by ICD-10 codes. After exclusion of diagnoses not relevant to vascular surgery, 139 questions remained, i.e. an average rate of about one per month. The mean age of the users was 43 years (range 19-88). Most users (61.2%) were women. The majority of users asked questions about their own health problems (79%) with varicose veins and spider veins accounting for 63% of all questions. Arterial diseases accounted for 30%. The patient's intention in contacting the service was to obtain advice on treatment options (37%), information about a diagnosis or symptoms (27%), or a second opinion (15%). The online service responded with detailed information and advice (87%) and suggested a referral to the family doctor or a specialist in 75%. Most patients (82%) rated the service overall as good or very good. It appears likely that telemedicine and in particular email teleconsultations will increase in vascular surgery in the future.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:German
Date:2014
Deposited On:17 Feb 2014 12:20
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 03:30
Publisher:Royal Society of Medicine Press
ISSN:1357-633X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1357633X13517356
PubMed ID:24352901

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