Enrico Checcucci , 1 , 2 , 3 , Stefano De Luca 1 , Paolo Alessio 1 , Paolo Verri 1 , Stefano Granato 1 , Sabrina De Cillis 1 , Daniele Amparore 1 , Michele Sica 1 , Federico Piramide 1 , Alberto Piana 1 , Gabriele Volpi 1 , Matteo Manfredi 1 , Gabriella Balestra 4 , Riccardo Autorino 5 , Cristian Fiori 1 , Francesco Porpiglia 1 , The Uro-technology and SoMe Working Group of the Young Academic Urologists Working Party of the European Association of Urology
1 January 2021
To assess the use of telemedicine with phone-call visits as a practical tool to follow-up with patients affected by urological benign diseases, whose clinic visits had been cancelled during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patients were contacted via phone-call and a specific questionnaire was administered to evaluate the health status of these patients and to identify those who needed an “in-person” ambulatory visit due to the worsening of their condition. Secondarily, the patients’ perception of a potential shift towards a “telemedicine” approach to the management of their condition and to indirectly evaluate their desire to return to “in-person” clinic visits.
607 were contacted by phone-call. 87.5% (531/607) of the cases showed stability of the symptoms so no clinic in-person or emergency visits were needed. 81.5% (495/607) of patients were more concerned about the risk of contagion than their urological condition. The median score for phone visit comprehensibility and ease of communication of exams was 5/5; whilst patients’ perception of phone visits’ usefulness was scored 4/5. 53% (322/607) of the interviewees didn’t own the basic supports required to be able to perform a real telemedicine consult according to the required standards.
Telemedicine approach limits the number of unnecessary accesses to medical facilities and represents an important tool for the limitation of the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. However, infrastructures, health workers and patients should reach out to a computerization process to allow a wider diffusion of more advanced forms of telemedicine, such as televisit.