There have been no studies assessing French orthopedic surgeons’ satisfaction with video and telephone consultations. These were encouraged during the coronavirus pandemic. We therefore performed a prospective study to assess (1) the profile of physicians using videoteleconsultation (VTC) during the pandemic and factors influencing use, (2) satisfaction with VTC, and (3) the pros, cons and prospects of VTC.
The study hypothesis was that VTC in orthopedics–traumatology is sufficiently satisfying to be used in everyday practice outside of pandemic contexts.
Material and method
A French nationwide survey was conducted in the form of an assessment of professional practices. Orthopedic and traumatology surgeons were sent a digital questionnaire, using the mailing lists of some of the French professional and scientific societies, with an estimate of 2000 practitioners who could be reached. The survey concerned use of VTC, modalities and satisfaction and the practitioner's profile. On the basis of the questionnaire responses, a Net Promoter Score (NPS) was calculated, evaluating the number (from −100 to +100) of respondents likely to recommend VTC.
In total 280 of the estimated 2000 practitioners who were contacted (14.0%) responded. Their mean age was 47.7±10.0years (range: 30–84years). The rate of use of VTC rose from 8.9% (n=25/280) before the pandemic to 55.3% (n=155/280) during it. In the 155 practitioners who had used VTC, NPS was −46.4. Only 51% (n=79/155) were in favor of continuing VTCs outside of pandemic settings. Likewise, 50.3% (n=78/155) reported that clinical examination was more time-consuming via VTC than in face-to-face consultation, and 57.4% (n=89/155) said the same about visualizing complementary examinations. Finally, 98.1% (n=152/155) found VTC less satisfying than face-to-face consultation for clinical examination, and only 18.1% (n=28/155) scheduled surgery after VTC alone.
To date in French orthopedics–traumatology, VTC does not satisfy surgeons, with its virtual rather than physical clinical examination; even so, it offers a solution in pandemic settings.
Level of evidence
IV; prospective study without control group.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : COVID, Orthopedics, Surgeon, Telehealth, Teleconsultation