With limitation of in-person clinical visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth has emerged as an important platform to deliver healthcare. Satisfaction with telehealth has been examined previously in the adult plastic surgery population. However, studies examining its use and satisfaction in the pediatric plastic surgery population are limited. In this study, we explore patient/caregiver satisfaction with the rapid institution of telehealth in our pediatric plastic surgery clinic and factors affecting satisfaction scores.
From March 2020 to February 2021, families of pediatric patients seen via video telehealth in the pediatric plastic surgery clinic at our center were invited to participate in a posttelehealth session survey. Telehealth visits encompassed both preliminary consultations as well as follow-up visits. After appropriate consent was obtained, patients' families completed a posttelehealth survey conveying demographics and satisfaction with telehealth via a 5-point Likert scale.
Seventy eight of 131 eligible families elected to participate. Visit types included the following: initial consultations (23.1%), preoperative visits (10.3%), postoperative visits (29.5%), and follow-up visits (37.1%). A total of 80.3% of the respondents were overall satisfied with their telehealth experience. A total of 85.3% of the respondents agreed that telehealth made it easier for them to see their doctor, and 96.7% of the respondents felt using telehealth saved them time in traveling to the clinic. A total of 89.5% of the respondents felt it important for the state of Utah to have a telehealth program available to pediatric patients.
Video telehealth is a useful adjunct in the care of pediatric plastic surgery patients with high caregiver satisfaction.