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Virtual Postoperative Visits for New Ostomates

White, Tracie, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, CRNFA; Watts, Penni, PhD, RN, CHSE-A; Morris, Melanie, MD; Moss, Jacqueline, PhD, RN, FAAN

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: February 2019 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 73–79
doi: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000498

Postoperative education, discharge instructions, and follow-up appointments provide a foundation for new ostomates after discharge, but a gap in care remains. New ostomates utilize resources twice as much as other colorectal patients. Virtual visits allow visual inspection of the patient while providing verbal support. The purposes of this project were to determine the feasibility of Virtual Postoperative Visits, to define specific issues patients want addressed, and to assess patient satisfaction with a virtual format. In this pilot project, 10 patients attended two outpatient virtual visits following hospital discharge. The virtual visits were conducted using video conferencing software. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data from a survey assessing patient satisfaction; content analysis described video interactions. All patients successfully completed two virtual visits from their homes. Ninety percent felt these visits helped with ostomy management and agreed they should be part of a discharge plan. All patients felt comfortable with a virtual format. Common themes discussed included pouching and skin irritation. We found that virtual visits are feasible, and patients are satisfied with this format to address goals of care. Future work will focus on large-scale implementation of virtual visits for new ostomates.

Author Affiliations: School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Tracie White, DNP, CRNP, ACNP-BC, CRNFA, School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1701 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294 (

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