The Musculoskeletal Virtual Follow up clinic was set up in the Community Orthopaedic and Pain service in Kent. Those were patients who were seen and assessed clinically and were planned for a follow up appointment once a requested investigation was done (X-ray, USS, MRI).
What are the requirements?
1- First appointment clinic letter. It is useful to have a detailed letter with differential diagnosis and potential outcomes of imaging.
2- Confirmed availability of imaging and report.
3- Voice recognition software to minimise admin workload (we used Dragon Medical, Microsoft Word Dictate or Amazon Transcribe Medical are alternatives)
4- Explain treatment options in detail including benefits and risks.
5- Offer patients telephone follow up if they need to and an email address for them to reply.
6- Upload the dictation to your existing electronic patient record system.
7- Send the letter to GP and patient.
What were the outcomes?
5 minutes per patient.
90% of follow ups were suitable for the virtual clinic.
0% DNA (all follow ups reviewed virtually)
Personalised plan for every patient including all treatment options with pros/cons for each option explained
Which follow ups would not be suitable for this system?
When there isn’t enough information to formulate a treatment plan or when Imaging findings do not correlate with clinical picture.
Technology (Telemedicine platforms) can certainly provide more features to a virtual clinic setup, but it can be done with existing systems and technology as well.