Study: Pediatric sports medicine patients spend 88% of telemedicine visits with providers

The use of telemedicine for sports medicine appointments saves pediatric patients time and money, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago.

A research team out of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Nemours Children's Health System collected information from 120 patients at a pediatric sports medicine practice who had at least one telemedicine visit between September 2015 and August 2016.

The researchers compared the practice's telemedicine and in-person appointments on total visit time, percentage of time spent with provider and wait time, among other information. These appointments comprised postoperative evaluations, imaging and surgical discussions and follow-up visits.

Here are four of their findings.

1. A typical patient spent 88 percent of a visit with his or her provider during a telemedicine appointment, compared to 15 percent of the visit during in-person appointments.

2. Each telemedicine visit saved the health system an average of $24 per patient.

3. Each patient saved an average of $50 in travel costs and 51 minutes in wait time per visit.

4. Ninety-eight percent of patients who used telemedicine indicated they would be interested in future virtual visits, according to a post-appointment survey at the practice. Ninety-nine percent said they would recommend telemedicine to other families.

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