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Half of Cardiology Trainees Comfortable With Telemedicine Use

Perceived barriers to telemedicine use include concerns about patient engagement, unfamiliarity with telemedicine technology

WEDNESDAY, May 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — About half of trainee cardiologists report being comfortable with use of telemedicine, and most express the need for telemedicine-specific training, according to a study published online May 11 in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Aws Almufleh, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., from Vancouver General Hospital in Canada, and colleagues used a web-based self-administered survey to examine the extent of cardiology trainees’ involvement in and comfort with telemedicine practices in Canada. The survey was completed by 86 trainees from 12 training programs.

The researchers found that 45 and 78 percent of trainees had telemedicine exposure before and after COVID-19, respectively. Overall, 51 percent of trainees reported being comfortable or very comfortable with telemedicine use. Of the 67 trainees who were involved in telemedicine, 6, 19, and 75 percent had full supervision, partial supervision, and minimal or no supervision, respectively, during virtual visits. Overall, 78 and 74 percent of trainees expressed the need for telemedicine-specific training and were willing to have their virtual visit recorded for evaluation and feedback, respectively. More than half (55 percent) felt strongly or very strongly positive about incorporating telemedicine into their future practice. Concerns about patient engagement, fear of weakening the patient-physician relationship, and unfamiliarity with telemedicine technology were the main perceived barriers to telemedicine use.

“The findings that only one in two trainees is comfortable with telemedicine and one in four do not plan to provide telemedicine services in the future are therefore concerning,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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