Safety and efficacy of telereview in patients with Abdominal pain using Video-consultation: a randomised-controlled trial (RCT) Evaluating Digital telereview (SAVED). (Preprint)

Dinesh Gunasekeran, Zhenghong Liu, Win Jim Tan, Joshua Koh, Chiu Peng Cheong, Lay Hong Tan, Chee Siang Lau, Gaik Kheng Phuah, Newsie Donnah A Manuel, Che Chong Chia, Gek Siang Seng, Nancy Tong (+7 others)
2019 Journal of Medical Internet Research  
The benefits of telemedicine include cost savings and decentralized care. Video consultation is one form that enables early detection of deteriorating patients and promotion of self-efficacy in patients who are well but anxious. Abdominal pain is a common symptom presented by patients in emergency departments. These patients could benefit from video consultation, as it enables remote follow-up of patients who do not require admission and facilitates early discharge of patients from overcrowded
more » ... ospitals. Objective: The study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the use of digital telereview in patients presenting with undifferentiated acute abdominal pain. Methods: This was a prospective randomized controlled trial in which follow-up using existing telephone-based telereview (control) was compared with digital telereview (intervention). Patients with undifferentiated acute abdominal pain discharged from the emergency department observation ward were studied based on intention-to-treat. The control arm received routine, provider-scheduled telereview with missed reviews actively coordinated and rescheduled by emergency department staff. The intervention arm received access to a platform for digital telereview (asynchronous and synchronous format) that enabled patient-led appointment rescheduling. Patients were followed-up for 2 weeks for outcomes of service utilization, efficacy (compliance with their disposition plan), and safety (re-presentation for the same condition). Results: A total of 70 patients participated, with patients randomly assigned to each arm (1:1 ratio). Patients were a mean age of 40.0 (SD 13.8; range 22-71) years, predominantly female (47/70, 67%), and predominantly of Chinese ethnicity (39/70, 56%). The telereview service was used by 32 patients in the control arm (32/35, 91%) and 18 patients in the intervention arm (18/35, 51%). Most patients in control (33/35, 94%; 95% CI 79.5%-99.0%) and intervention (34/35, 97%; 95% CI 83.4%-99.9%) arms were compliant with their final disposition. There was a low rate of re-presentation at 72 hours and 2 weeks for both control (72 hours: 2/35, 6%; 95% CI 1.0%-20.5%; 2 weeks: 2/35, 6%, 95% CI 1.0%-20.5%) and intervention (72 hours: 2/35, 6%; 95% CI 1.0%-20.5%; 2 weeks: 3/35, 9%, 95% CI 2.2%-24.2%) arms. There were no significant differences in safety (P>.99) and efficacy (P>.99) between the two groups. Conclusions: The application of digital telereview for the follow-up of patients with abdominal pain may be safe and effective. Future studies are needed to evaluate its cost-effectiveness and usefulness for broader clinical application. SingHealth Singapore General Hospital (2017/2049); International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 28468556;
doi:10.2196/17417 pmid:32459637 fatcat:s7isgxwrpre23ptgf62zcrchm4