Patients’ views of a fetal ultrasound telemedicine service: a mixed methods evaluation study

Lie, Mabel, Snaith, Vikki, Bidmead, Elaine, Marshall, Alison and Robson, Stephen C. (2017) Patients’ views of a fetal ultrasound telemedicine service: a mixed methods evaluation study. In: The British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society 19th Annual Conference, 30-31 March 2017, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate from the patient’s perspective, a new fetal ultrasound telemedicine service to improve prenatal diagnosis and management at a rural district general hospital.

Methods: Eligible patients requiring a specialist fetal medicine consultation were referred to a tertiary care centre for inclusion in the study. Women who underwent a telemedicine examination with a consultant guiding an ultra-sonographer and providing specialist counselling via video-conferencing link were approached to complete a structured questionnaire with the option of participating in a semi-structured telephone interview. The questionnaire included a 5-point scale to evaluate patient satisfaction with the consultation. The mixed methods analysis employed SPSS and Atlas.ti software packages.

Results: Of the 80 consultations undertaken during the study, 38 new referrals having their first telemedicine consultation were approached; 31 returned survey questionnaires, and 16 interviewed. Survey and interview participants expressed very high satisfaction with the timely service (93.5 percent highly satisfied with quality of care overall), particularly as a result of the reduced travel times and costs. Analysis of the interviews revealed other advantages such as familiarity and continuity of care from staying local and increased confidence through the sharing of expertise, particularly during an anxious time in their pregnancies.

Conclusion: A fetal ultrasound telemedicine service was highly acceptable to patients in this rural community, offering them a range of personal benefits as a result of easier access to specialist healthcare.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Journal / Publication Title: BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Publisher: Wiley
Departments: Research Centres > Cumbrian Centre for Health Technologies (CACHET)
Additional Information: Abstract of the British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society (BMFMS) 19th Annual Conference, 30-31 March 2017, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (poster abstract no. P.FM.68.).
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2017 11:57
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 10:15


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