Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons

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Telehealth Utilization in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery
Robert L. Parisien MD1,5, Max Shin BA2, David P. Trofa MD3, Aman Prasad BS2, Xinning Li MD4, William N. Levine MD3, John M. Flynn MD5, Theodore J. Ganley MD5
1University of Pennsylvania 2Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania 3Columbia University Medical Center 4Boston University Medical Center 5The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Background: The purpose of this investigation was to assess the current utilization of telehealth capabilities of pediatric orthopaedic departments at children’s hospitals across the United States (U.S.) and to determine how practice patterns have been directly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: One hundred four pediatric academic orthopaedic departments within children’s hospitals across the United States were directly contacted via telephone between April 23rd 2020 and April 27th 2020 to ascertain their utilization of telehealth services.
Results: Of the 104 children’s hospitals contacted across the U.S., 100 pediatric orthopaedic departments in 39 states responded for an overall response rate of 96%. Of the 95 institutions offering telehealth services, 83 (87.4%) cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the impetus for implementation of telehealth services. Of these, 29 (31%) institutions began offering services from March 16th to March 31st and 34 (36%) institutions began offering services from April 1st to April 15th. The four most common platforms being utilized to conduct telehealth visits are Epic MyChart with Zoom (38%), Zoom independently (18%), Doxy.me (8%) and Epic MyChart with VidyoConnect (7.4%). Regional analysis demonstrated an 800% increase in telehealth services provided in the state of New York, a 600% increase in Florida, a 500% increase in Texas, a 400% increase in Michigan, a 200% increase in Pennsylvania and an 1100% increase in California.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the rapid response measures instituted by pediatric orthopaedic institutions to meet the fundamental needs of the pediatric population during this unprecedented pandemic.


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