Does it get better? An ongoing exploration of physician experiences with and acceptance of telehealth utilization
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:COVID-19 forced health systems to rapidly implement telehealth for routine practice, often without sufficient training or standards. We conducted a longitudinal survey of physicians to explore changes in their perceptions of the challenges and benefits of telehealth and identify recommendations for future practice. METHODS:An anonymous online survey was distributed to a cohort of internal medicine physicians in May to June 2020 and March to June 2021. Changes in responses between 2020 and 2021 and by site (private vs. public) were described. These findings, along with those of a thematic analysis of open-ended responses to questions on telehealth experiences, informed a set of recommendations. RESULTS:â€‰=â€‰0.027). Physicians' open-ended responses identified recommendations for further improving the design and use of telehealth. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Results suggest that physician experience with telehealth improved but opportunities for training and improved integration remain. Longitudinal assessment can deepen understanding of the evolution of telehealth care.
The Telemedicine Takeover: Lessons Learned During an Emerging Pandemic
Patient Interactions With an Automated Conversational Agent Delivering Pretest Genetics Education: Descriptive Study
BACKGROUND:Cancer genetic testing to assess an individual's cancer risk and to enable genomics-informed cancer treatment has grown exponentially in the past decade. Because of this continued growth and a shortage of health care workers, there is a need for automated strategies that provide high-quality genetics services to patients to reduce the clinical demand for genetics providers. Conversational agents have shown promise in managing mental health, pain, and other chronic conditions and are increasingly being used in cancer genetic services. However, research on how patients interact with these agents to satisfy their information needs is limited. OBJECTIVE:Our primary aim is to assess user interactions with a conversational agent for pretest genetics education. METHODS:We conducted a feasibility study of user interactions with a conversational agent who delivers pretest genetics education to primary care patients without cancer who are eligible for cancer genetic evaluation. The conversational agent provided scripted content similar to that delivered in a pretest genetic counseling visit for cancer genetic testing. Outside of a core set of information delivered to all patients, users were able to navigate within the chat to request additional content in their areas of interest. An artificial intelligence-based preprogrammed library was also established to allow users to ask open-ended questions to the conversational agent. Transcripts of the interactions were recorded. Here, we describe the information selected, time spent to complete the chat, and use of the open-ended question feature. Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative measures, and thematic analyses were used for qualitative responses. RESULTS:We invited 103 patients to participate, of which 88.3% (91/103) were offered access to the conversational agent, 39% (36/91) started the chat, and 32% (30/91) completed the chat. Most users who completed the chat indicated that they wanted to continue with genetic testing (21/30, 70%), few were unsure (9/30, 30%), and no patient declined to move forward with testing. Those who decided to test spent an average of 10 (SD 2.57) minutes on the chat, selected an average of 1.87 (SD 1.2) additional pieces of information, and generally did not ask open-ended questions. Those who were unsure spent 4 more minutes on average (mean 14.1, SD 7.41; P=.03) on the chat, selected an average of 3.67 (SD 2.9) additional pieces of information, and asked at least one open-ended question. CONCLUSIONS:The pretest chat provided enough information for most patients to decide on cancer genetic testing, as indicated by the small number of open-ended questions. A subset of participants were still unsure about receiving genetic testing and may require additional education or interpersonal support before making a testing decision. Conversational agents have the potential to become a scalable alternative for pretest genetics education, reducing the clinical demand on genetics providers.
Comparing models of delivery for cancer genetics services among patients receiving primary care who meet criteria for genetic evaluation in two healthcare systems: BRIDGE randomized controlled trial
BACKGROUND:Advances in genetics and sequencing technologies are enabling the identification of more individuals with inherited cancer susceptibility who could benefit from tailored screening and prevention recommendations. While cancer family history information is used in primary care settings to identify unaffected patients who could benefit from a cancer genetics evaluation, this information is underutilized. System-level population health management strategies are needed to assist health care systems in identifying patients who may benefit from genetic services. In addition, because of the limited number of trained genetics specialists and increasing patient volume, the development of innovative and sustainable approaches to delivering cancer genetic services is essential. METHODS:We are conducting a randomized controlled trial, entitled Broadening the Reach, Impact, and Delivery of Genetic Services (BRIDGE), to address these needs. The trial is comparing uptake of genetic counseling, uptake of genetic testing, and patient adherence to management recommendations for automated, patient-directed versus enhanced standard of care cancer genetics services delivery models. An algorithm-based system that utilizes structured cancer family history data available in the electronic health record (EHR) is used to identify unaffected patients who receive primary care at the study sites and meet current guidelines for cancer genetic testing. We are enrolling eligible patients at two healthcare systems (University of Utah Health and New York University Langone Health) through outreach to a randomly selected sample of 2780 eligible patients in the two sites, with 1:1 randomization to the genetic services delivery arms within sites. Study outcomes are assessed through genetics clinic records, EHR, and two follow-up questionnaires at 4â€‰weeks and 12â€‰months after last genetic counseling contactpre-test genetic counseling. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:BRIDGE is being conducted in two healthcare systems with different clinical structures and patient populations. Innovative aspects of the trial include a randomized comparison of a chatbot-based genetic services delivery model to standard of care, as well as identification of at-risk individuals through a sustainable EHR-based system. The findings from the BRIDGE trial will advance the state of the science in identification of unaffected patients with inherited cancer susceptibility and delivery of genetic services to those patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION/BACKGROUND:BRIDGE is registered as NCT03985852 . The trial was registered on June 6, 2019 at clinicaltrials.gov .
Early Results from SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing of Healthcare Workers at an Academic Medical Center in New York City
COVID-19 RT-PCR employee-testing was implemented across NYU Langone. Over eight-weeks, 14,764 employees were tested: 33% of symptomatic employees, 8% of asymptomatic employees reporting COVID-19 exposure, 3% of employees returning to work were positive. Positivity rates declined over time possibly reflecting the importance of community transmission and efficacy of PPE.
Smartphone-Delivered Progressive Muscle Relaxation for the Treatment of Migraine in Primary Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial
OBJECTIVE:Scalable, accessible forms of behavioral therapy for migraine prevention are needed. We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) delivered by a smartphone application (app) in the Primary Care setting. METHODS:This pilot study was a non-blinded, randomized, parallel-arm controlled trial of adults with migraine and 4+ headache days/month. Eligible participants spoke English and owned a smartphone. All participants were given the RELAXaHEAD app which includes an electronic headache diary. Participants were randomized to receive 1 of the 2 versions of the app-one with PMR and the other without PMR. The primary outcomes were measures of feasibility (adherence to the intervention and diary entries during the 90-day interval) and acceptability (satisfaction levels). We conducted exploratory analyses to determine whether there was aÂ changeÂ in Migraine Disability Assessment Scale (MIDAS) scores or a changeÂ in headache days. RESULTS:Of 139 participants (77 PMR, 62 control), 116 (83%) were female, mean age was 41.7Â Â±Â 12.8 years. Most patients 108/139 (78%) had moderate-severe disability. Using a 1-5 Likert scale, participants found the app easy to use (mean 4.2Â Â±Â 0.7) and stated that they would be happy to engage in the PMR intervention again (mean 4.3Â Â±Â 0.6). For the first 6Â weeks, participants practiced PMR 2-4Â days/week. Mean per session duration was 11.1Â Â±Â 8.3Â minutes. Relative to the diary-only group, the PMR group showed a greater non-significant decline in mean MIDAS scores (-8.7 vs -22.7, PÂ =Â .100) corresponding to a small-moderate mean effect size (Cohen's dÂ =Â 0.38). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Smartphone-delivered PMR may be an acceptable, accessible form of therapy for migraine. Mean effects show a small-moderate mean effect size in disability scores.
A Telemedicine Approach to Covid-19 Assessment and Triage
Covid-19 is a new highly contagious RNA viral disease that has caused a global pandemic. Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through oral and nasal droplets and possibly through the airborne route. The disease may be asymptomatic or the course may be mild with upper respiratory symptoms, moderate with non-life-threatening pneumonia, or severe with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The severe form is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. While patients who are unstable and in acute distress need immediate in-person attention, many patients can be evaluated at home by telemedicine or videoconferencing. The more benign manifestations of Covid-19 may be managed from home to maintain quarantine, thus avoiding spread to other patients and health care workers. This document provides an overview of the clinical presentation of Covid-19, emphasizing telemedicine strategies for assessment and triage of patients. Advantages of the virtual visit during this time of social distancing are highlighted.
A Pilot Randomized Controlled Study of a Smartphone Delivered Progressive Muscle Relaxation Intervention for Migraine in Primary Care [Meeting Abstract]
Paraneoplastic myelitis related to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma: Two case reports and literature review
The Case: Thirty-one-year old woman with hypertension and abnormal renal imaging