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Virtual outreach: economic evaluation of joint teleconsultations for patients referred by their general practitioner for a specialist opinion

Jacklin, PB; Roberts, JA; Wallace, P; Haines, A; Harrison, R; Barber, JA; Thompson, SG; ... Virtual Outreach Project Grp, ; + view all (2003) Virtual outreach: economic evaluation of joint teleconsultations for patients referred by their general practitioner for a specialist opinion. BRIT MED J , 327 (7406) 84 - 88A. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives To test the hypotheses that, compared with conventional outpatient consultations, joint teleconsultation (virtual outreach) would incur no increased costs to the NHS, reduce costs to patients, and reduce absences from work by patients and their carers.Design Cost consequences study alongside randomised controlled trial.Setting Two hospitals in London and Shrewsbury and 29 general practices in inner London and Wales.Participants 3170 patients identified; 2094 eligible for inclusion and willing to participate. 1051 randomised to virtual outreach and 1043 to standard outpatient appointments.Main outcome measures NHS costs, patient costs, health status (SF-12), time spent attending index consultation, patient satisfaction.Results Overall six month costs were greater for the virtual outreach consultations (pound724 per patient) than for conventional outpatient appointments (pound625): difference in means pound99 ($162; is not an element of138) (95% confidence interval pound10 to pound187, P=0.03). if the analysis is restricted to resource items deemed "attributable" to the index consultation, six month costs were still greater for virtual outreach: difference in means pound108 (pound73 to pound142, P < 0.0001). In both analyses the index consultation accounted for the excess cost. Savings to patients in terms of costs and time occurred in both centres: difference in mean total patient cost 8 pound (5 pound to 10 pound, P < 0.0001). Loss of productive time was less in the virtual outreach group: difference in mean cost pound11 (pound10 to pound12, P < 0.0001).Condusion The main hypothesis that virtual outreach would be cost neutral is rejected, but the hypotheses that costs to patients and losses in productivity would be lower are supported.

Type: Article
Title: Virtual outreach: economic evaluation of joint teleconsultations for patients referred by their general practitioner for a specialist opinion
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: RANDOMIZED-TRIALS, PRIMARY-CARE, FOLLOW-UP, COST DATA, CONSULTATIONS, SATISFACTION, TELEMEDICINE, SYSTEM, HEALTH
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Statistical Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6613
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