Orthopaedic provider perceptions of virtual care : which providers prefer virtual care?

Bone Jt Open. 2021 Jun;2(6):405-410. doi: 10.1302/2633-1462.26.BJO-2020-0198.R1.


AIMS: The purpose of our study was to determine which groups of orthopaedic providers favour virtual care, and analyze overall orthopaedic provider perceptions of virtual care. We hypothesize that providers with less clinical experience will favour virtual care, and that orthopaedic providers overall will show increased preference for virtual care during the COVID-19 pandemic and decreased preference during non-pandemic circumstances.

METHODS: An orthopaedic research consortium at an academic medical system developed a survey examining provider perspectives regarding orthopaedic virtual care. Survey items were scored on a 1 to 5 Likert scale (1 = “strongly disagree”, 5 = “strongly agree”) and compared using nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test.

RESULTS: Providers with less experience were more likely to recommend virtual care for follow-up visits (3.61 on the Likert scale (SD 0.95) vs 2.90 (SD 1.23); p = 0.006) and feel that virtual care was essential to patient wellbeing (3.98 (SD 0.95) vs 3.00 (SD 1.16); p < 0.001) during the pandemic. Less experienced providers also viewed virtual visits as providing a similar level of care as in-person visits (2.41 (SD 1.02) vs 1.76 (SD 0.87); p = 0.006) and more time-efficient than in-person visits (3.07 (SD 1.19) vs 2.34 (SD 1.14); p = 0.012) in non-pandemic circumstances. During the pandemic, most providers viewed virtual care as effective in providing essential care (83.6%, n = 51) and wanted to schedule patients for virtual care follow-up (82.2%, n = 50); only 10.9% (n = 8) of providers preferred virtual visits in non-pandemic circumstances.

CONCLUSION: Orthopaedic providers with less clinical experience seem to favourably view virtual care both during the pandemic and under non-pandemic circumstances. Providers in general appear to view virtual care positively during the pandemic but are less accommodating towards it in non-pandemic circumstances. Cite this article: Bone Jt Open 2021;2(6):405-410.

PMID:34155903 | DOI:10.1302/2633-1462.26.BJO-2020-0198.R1