Inquiry. 2020 Jan-Dec;57:46958020968788. doi: 10.1177/0046958020968788.
Through an examination of the records of a telemedicine-based second opinion program in county-level hospitals in central and western China, the impact of this service on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer-related diseases was analyzed and evaluated. In this study, all 135 cancer-related cases were included in the analysis. The basic characteristics of the patients were described, the opinions of the original and second diagnosis and treatment were compared, the rate of consistency between them was calculated, the therapeutic regimens were analyzed and the differences between groups were tested. In 94.07% of the cases, the reason for the doctor’s request for second opinion service was to assist in the formulation of therapeutic regimen. 64.44% of cases were confirmed with the diagnosis and 17.78% therapeutic regimen by the second opinion service. 126 cases obtained improved therapeutic regimens, and there were statistically significant differences in treatment methods in the diagnosis changed group. Comparing with other international SO studies, the diagnostic consistency rate obtained in this study was lower but not the lowest. The therapeutic consistency rate was quite low, due to the high proportion of original therapeutic regimens missing. This telemedicine-based second opinion program has brought beneficial improvements to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer-related diseases in county-level hospitals in central and western China.