Thoracic Research and Practice
Original Article

A Retrospective Assessment of the Continuous Health Care Provided to COVID-19 Patients Consulted Via Videoconference


İstanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Health Sciences, İstanbul, Turkey


Department of Chest Diseases, Pamukkale University, Faculty of Medicine, Denizli, Turkey

Thorac Res Pract 2023; 24: 14-21
DOI: 10.5152/ThoracResPract.2023.22058
Read: 481 Downloads: 260 Published: 21 February 2023

OBJECTIVE: Telemedicine has been defined as a valuable tool in delivering care for COVID-19 patients. However, clinicians and policymakers should be convinced that traditional and new technological methods of clinical management may be equally effective. The purpose of this study was to generate some initial recommendations based on the clinical utility of videoconference consultation in forward triage and follow-up for COVID-19 patients.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective cross-sectional study evaluated the medical records of 100 COVID-19 patients consulted using a videoconference program (Skype), from September 1, 2020, to February 3, 2021. The data were analyzed on demographic characteristics, disease history, the need for physical examination after videoconference consultation, pre-diagnostics and diagnostics, treatment decisions, number of videoconference consultation sessions in follow-up, duration of sessions, and final outcome.

RESULTS: The male COVID-19 patients constituted 54% of the total sample. The median age was 51 (42-61) years. The median duration of the initial videoconference consultation session was 16 (12-21) minutes. Following the initial videoconference consultation session, 14 patients required follow-up with all face-to-face visits; the remaining patients were primarily followed with videoconference consultation sessions. For 25 patients, it was sufficient to provide only videoconference consultation sessions; they were not required to be in the hospital for physical examination or any subsequent investigation at all. A total of 14 patients were hospitalized. There was no statistically significant difference between the high-risk group and the other patients according to the components of the disease management process via videoconference consultation.

CONCLUSION: Videoconference consultation enables a holistic assessment regardless of the patient's characteristics and allows for more time to be spent on each patient, particularly during the pandemic period without risk of contagion. It can be used as a forward triage and follow-up tool to identify patients in need of emergency hospitalization and continuous health care.

Cite this article as: Çetin N, Bostan P, Altınışık G. A retrospective assessment of the continuous health care provided to COVID-19 patients consulted via videoconference. Thorac Res Pract. 2023;24(1):14-21.

EISSN 2979-9139