Evaluation of an endocrinology tele-medicine service during COVID-19

Author(s): Mathara Diddhenipothage Shani Apsara Dilrukshi, Aparna Pal

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought exceptional challenges to health care providers across the globe requiring urgent alternative models of care to minimise interruptions to routine service. In this context orthodox practice of clinical endocrinology based upon face to face consultation, was converted to telemedicine. A rapid evaluation of this service was conducted to assess future utility in the post-pandemic period. Outcomes showed the majority of patients and clinicians were satisfied with telemedicine appointments and there was a reduced non-attendance rate when compared to a comparable pre-COVID face to face appointment cohort. Telemedicine was deemed appropriate for a sizable proportion of follow up visits, particularly for pituitary and thyroid disease. These findings favour an important role for telemedicine in future models of endocrinology outpatient care.