The Use of Telehealth for Orthopedic Consultations and Assessments: A Systematic Review
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As a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, tele-health for orthopedic care is expanding rapidly. The authors sought to identify the evidence describing the effectiveness, barriers, and clinical applications of telehealth for orthopedic assessments and consultations. MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were searched from inception to March 2020. Forty-seven studies were included, with the most common conditions evaluated being trauma related and the primary modality being videoconferencing. Available literature supports the use of telehealth for orthopedic consultations and assessments because it yields moderate-to-high patient and provider satisfaction, accurate examinations, cost-effectiveness, and reduced wait times. Most commonly reported concerns were professional liability, network security, and technical issues. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid implementation and uptake of virtual assessment for patient care has occurred. The current evidence suggests that telehealth is capable of providing prompt access to quality, cost-efficient orthopedic consultations and assessments. [Orthopedics. 2021;44(4):198--206.].
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