Research Article| Volume 58, ISSUE 4, P458-461, May 2020

Clinicians’ and patients’ acceptance of the virtual clinic concept in maxillofacial surgery: a departmental survey


      Virtual clinics have been proposed as a method of reducing costs and improving services in the National Health Service (NHS). The aim of this research was to assess the attitudes of clinicians and patients towards virtual consultations in a department of oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS). Patients and clinicians at conventional OMFS adult outpatient clinics were prospectively interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Variables recorded included type of consultation, overall attitude, time travelled, and mode of transport. Patients’ notes were assessed retrospectively to check if examinations had been done. A total of 146 patients (100%) completed the surveys, and 108 of them (74%) were amenable to having virtual consultations in the future. Such appointments may have been suitable for 19 patients who did not have examinations. Chi squared analysis showed no relation between type of appointment and preference for a virtual consultation (p=0.087). To introduce a virtual consultation system in our department and to assess its efficacy once implemented, further development and research are required.


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