Open Access Research Article

Virtual Clinics: Descriptive Survey of A Sample of Models Used Within Orthopedics in The United Kingdom

Racheal Duncan, Cerys Watcyns, and Lindsay Smith*

University of the West of England, UK

Corresponding Author

Received Date: July 27, 2020;  Published Date: August 11, 2020


Objectives: To gain a snapshot of the models of virtual orthopedic clinics currently in use within the United Kingdom through data collected from non-medical healthcare professionals. Information collected included types of patients referred, staff members involved, facilities used, methods of follow up, benefits and challenges.

Method: A short online survey, collected quantitative data from non-medical healthcare professionals affiliated with two recognized professional bodies who were directly involved or had knowledge about virtual clinics.

Results: Responses were received from 11 virtual clinics. The majority of individuals involved were physiotherapists (73%) with 27% overseeing them. Most clinics were conducted Monday-Friday (45%) in an office space (73%), using a computer, desk, and telephone (91%), with referrals mainly coming from orthopedic services (54%) and Accident and Emergency (54%).

Conclusion: The results of this survey provide an insight into orthopedic virtual clinics in the UK prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although missing from previous research, there is evidence to show the involvement of physiotherapists in addition to other non-medical healthcare professionals. Equipment needed for set up is minimal and benefits include patient satisfaction, efficiency, and the ability to meet orthopedic guidelines.

Keywords: Virtual clinics; Orthopedics; Physiotherapy; Survey

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