The Royal College of Surgeons of England has published a guide to conducting virtual consultations after a survey showed that 90% of surgeons used them during the covid-19 pandemic.
A survey of 1,741 surgeons and surgical trainees conducted by the college from June 8 to 15 showed that 91% of surgeons used telephone or video conferencing to consult with patients and clinics during a pandemic. The majority (83%) also stated that they held group meetings remotely, such as interdisciplinary group meetings.
While virtual consultations are relatively common in the NHS, the college said that they will play a particularly important role in the NHS after SOVID-19 and in future pandemic planning. College vice president, Cliff Shearman, explained that using virtual counseling during a pandemic reduced the need for patients to travel to the hospital.
“They allow surgeons to talk to patients who cannot travel,” he said, “or to contact patients in difficult times, when many may be worried that their face-to-face meeting has been canceled.”
He added that virtual consultations can encourage patients to seek medical help, despite the fact that they want to avoid the hospital because of concerns about a possible infection.
“They can also allow surgeons to remotely conduct clinical work and support hospitals to meet increased demand, for example, if there is a local outbreak and the staff becomes ill,” he said.
Speaking at an online event at the Royal Society of Medicine on June 30, Nick Patel, director of cardiovascular medicine at East Sussex Healthcare, said secondary care physicians were more likely to use more virtual counseling after the pandemic. He said that this would allow them to work more with patients in society.
“We learned that we can consult using technologies, technologies that we talked about before, but never used,” Patel said. “I have colleagues who used to be reluctant to use technology, but now will not return.”
The Royal College of Surgeons of England has released two guides to help surgeons make the most of virtual consultations. The first sets out the principles for the consent process and gives recommendations on what additional information should be included in conversations with patients while covid-19 is still common1. The second is a guide for the best surgeons on how to conduct virtual consultations with their patients. patients by phone or video.
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