Lightning Podiums: Value and Outcomes in Spinal Surgery - Room 801B

Presented by: F. Pencle


F. Pencle(1), A. Benny(1), J. Seale(1), K. Chin(1), Less Exposure Surgery Society

(1) LESS Institute, Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States


Background data: The role of technology in medicine has been limited to patient use in decision making for finding and assessing physicians. Teleconference is real time and live interactive program in which one set of participants are at one or more locations and the other set of participants are at another location. The teleconference allows for interaction, including audio and/or video, and possibly other modalities, between at least two sites. A study by Augestad et al has demonstrated from the literature the use of video conferencing for surgeons and its benefits especially in rural areas. Newer technology has allowed mobile video conferencing with encryption specific to the application or mobile phone. Outpatient surgery has a great opportunity to demonstrate the role of utilizing video conference (VC) in the follow up of patients postoperatively. The authors aim to assess patient's perception to the use of mobile app for video conference (VC) with surgeon and/or staff.

Methods: Patients who presented to an orthopedic institute were presented with a questionnaire. To determine patient attitudes regarding surgery and the use of mobile VC app, we asked the surveyed participants using a 5 point Likert scale. Consenting patients completed a questionnaire of 10 questions prior to being assessed by surgeon in order to minimize any bias resulting from evaluation and treatment. Patients who proceeded to have surgery completed the questionnaire to assess difference in opinion postoperatively.

Results: 120 patients completed the questionnaire preoperatively with 58% female population, 71% age younger than 65 years and 67% having a GED/higher education. A total of 36 patients had surgery with 54% female population and 60% age younger than 65 years. All patients had a mobile app for VC with 55% using WhatsApp, 40% using Facetime, 5% Skype and/or other. In person at office with a trained educator was the preferred mode and method for learning about surgical procedures. Eighty-three percent of patients thought that having mobile video app access suggested that their surgeon was more caring preop compared to 89% post op. Overall; four patients contacted the surgeon directly preoperatively. Post-surgery 5/36 patients (14%) utilized video conference to the surgeon directly, 24 patients contacted the concierge team with video conference.

Conclusion: With advances in technology, the use of mobile video conferencing adds a new forum for communication with patients. In the outpatient surgical setting this forum would improve patient-physician relations.