Background The beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many hospital departments worldwide to implement telehealth strategies for the first time. Telehealth represents the opportunity to increase value for all stakeholders, including patients and healthcare staff, but its success constitutes a challenge for all of them and particularly patients play a crucial role for their needed adherence. This study focuses on the experience of the Rheumatology Unit of Niguarda Hospital in Milan (Italy), where telehealth projects have been implemented for more than a decade with structured design and organized processes. The case study is paradigmatic because patients have experimented personalized mixes of telehealth channels, including e-mails and phone calls, Patient Reported Outcomes questionnaires, and home delivery of drugs. Given all these peculiarities, we decided to deepen patients' perspective through three main aspects related to the adoption of telehealth: (i) the benefits perceived, (ii) the willingness to enrol in future projects, (iii) the preference on the service-mix between remote contacts and in-person visits. Most importantly, we investigated differences in the three areas among all patients based on the mix of telehealth channels experienced.MethodsWe conducted a survey from November 2021 to January 2022, enrolling consecutively patients attending the Rheumatology Unit of Niguarda Hospital in Milan (Italy). Our survey comprised an introductory set of questions related to personal, social, clinical and ICT skills information, followed by the central part on telehealth. All the answers were analysed with descriptive statistics and regression models.ResultsA complete response was given by 400 patients: 283 (71%) were female, 237 (59%) were 40-64 years old, 213 (53%) of them declared to work, and the disease most represented was Rheumatoid Arthritis (144 patients, 36%). Descriptive statistics and regression results revealed that (i) non-users imagined wide-ranging benefits compared to users; (ii) other things being equal, having had a more intense experience of telehealth increased the odds of accepting to participate to future projects by 3.1 times (95% C.I. 1.04-9.25), compared to non-users; (iii) the more telehealth was experienced, the higher the willingness to substitute in-person with online contacts.ConclusionsOur study contributes to enlighten the crucial role played by the telehealth experience in determining patients' preferences.

Joining telehealth in rheumatology: a survey on the role played by personalized experience from patients’ perspective

Listorti, Elisabetta
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Ferrara, Lucia
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Tozzi, Valeria D.
Supervision
;
2023

Abstract

Background The beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced many hospital departments worldwide to implement telehealth strategies for the first time. Telehealth represents the opportunity to increase value for all stakeholders, including patients and healthcare staff, but its success constitutes a challenge for all of them and particularly patients play a crucial role for their needed adherence. This study focuses on the experience of the Rheumatology Unit of Niguarda Hospital in Milan (Italy), where telehealth projects have been implemented for more than a decade with structured design and organized processes. The case study is paradigmatic because patients have experimented personalized mixes of telehealth channels, including e-mails and phone calls, Patient Reported Outcomes questionnaires, and home delivery of drugs. Given all these peculiarities, we decided to deepen patients' perspective through three main aspects related to the adoption of telehealth: (i) the benefits perceived, (ii) the willingness to enrol in future projects, (iii) the preference on the service-mix between remote contacts and in-person visits. Most importantly, we investigated differences in the three areas among all patients based on the mix of telehealth channels experienced.MethodsWe conducted a survey from November 2021 to January 2022, enrolling consecutively patients attending the Rheumatology Unit of Niguarda Hospital in Milan (Italy). Our survey comprised an introductory set of questions related to personal, social, clinical and ICT skills information, followed by the central part on telehealth. All the answers were analysed with descriptive statistics and regression models.ResultsA complete response was given by 400 patients: 283 (71%) were female, 237 (59%) were 40-64 years old, 213 (53%) of them declared to work, and the disease most represented was Rheumatoid Arthritis (144 patients, 36%). Descriptive statistics and regression results revealed that (i) non-users imagined wide-ranging benefits compared to users; (ii) other things being equal, having had a more intense experience of telehealth increased the odds of accepting to participate to future projects by 3.1 times (95% C.I. 1.04-9.25), compared to non-users; (iii) the more telehealth was experienced, the higher the willingness to substitute in-person with online contacts.ConclusionsOur study contributes to enlighten the crucial role played by the telehealth experience in determining patients' preferences.
2023
2023
Listorti, Elisabetta; Ferrara, Lucia; Adinolfi, Antonella; Gerardi, Maria Chiara; Ughi, Nicola; Tozzi, Valeria D.; Epis, Oscar M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4061076
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