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Telemedicine consultations in oral and maxillofacial surgery: A follow-up study
19th American Dental Congress
December 08-10, 2016 Phoenix, USA

Eric W Wood, Robert A Strauss, Charles Janus and Caroline K Carrico

University of Arizona College of Medicine, USA

Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Dentistry


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to follow up on the previous study in evaluating the efficiency and reliability of telemedicine consultations for preoperative assessment of patients. Materials & Methods: A retrospective study of 335 patients over a 6-year period was performed to evaluate success rates of telemedicine consultations in adequately assessing patients for surgical treatment under anesthesia. Success or failure of the telemedicine consultation was measured by the ability to triage patients appropriately for the hospital operating room versus the clinic, to provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, and to provide a sufficient medical and physical assessment for planned anesthesia. Data gathered from the average distance traveled and data from a previous telemedicine study performed by the National Institute of Justice were used to estimate the cost savings of using telemedicine consultations over the 6-year period. Results: Practitioners performing the consultation were successful 92.2% of the time in using the data collected to make a diagnosis and treatment plan. Patients were triaged correctly 99.6% of the time for the clinic or hospital operating room. Most patients (98.0%) were given sufficient medical and physical assessment and were able to undergo surgery with anesthesia as planned at the clinic appointment immediately after telemedicine consultation. Most patients (95.9%) were given an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. The estimated amount saved by providing consultation by telemedicine and eliminating in-office consultation was substantial at $134,640. Conclusion: This study confirms the findings from previous studies that telemedicine consultations are as reliable as those performed by traditional methods.

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