PD25-11 THE IMPACT OF TELEMEDICINE ON PATIENT-REPORTED OUTCOMES IN UROLOGIC ONCOLOGY
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE:
Nearly 20% of Americans live in rural communities. These individuals face barriers to accessing cancer care, including prevalent poverty and substantial travel burden to seeing cancer providers. We aimed to assess the impact of a rurally focused telemedicine program on patient outcomes in our urologic oncology outpatient clinic.
We prospectively identified patients from rural Washington State, or who lived outside Washington, with a known or suspected urological malignancy being evaluated at the University of Washington Urology Clinic via an in person clinic or a telemedicine appointment. Patients were invited to complete a post-visit survey that assessed satisfaction, travel time, costs, and work absenteeism. We compared patient-reported outcomes between those seen as in-person versus telemedicine visits.
We invited 2641 eligible patients from August 2019–January 2021 to participate; 1114 patients (42%) completed the survey. 242 patients had in person visits and 872 had telemedicine visits. Median age was 68, 89% were male, and 75% were white. 975 patients (88%) were from Washington; the remainder resided out-of-state. Patients were being evaluated for prostate cancer (63%), kidney cancer (15%), urothelial cancer (20%), and testis cancer (2%). Patient-reported outcomes are displayed in Table 1. Twenty-three patients coming for in-person visits (10%) paid ≥$1000 in total travel costs. No differences were noted in patient satisfaction between in-person and telemedicine visit types.
Patients traveling to our clinic from out-of-state and rural Washington incur significant travel time, costs, and time away from work to receive outpatient urologic cancer care. Telemedicine provides a medium for cancer care delivery that eliminates the significant travel burden associated with in-person clinic appointments.
Source of Funding:
This project is supported by a 2019 Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award & a Swim Across America Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Young Investigator Award, both to Dr. Gadzinski