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Research Letter | Association of VA Surgeons

Postoperative Telehealth Visits Assessment of Quality and Preferences of Veterans

Michael A. Vella, MD1,2; Kristy Kummerow Broman, MD1,2,3; John L. Tarpley, MD1,2; Robert S. Dittus, MD, MPH1,4; Christianne L. Roumie, MD, MPH1,4
[+] Author Affiliations
1Section of Surgical Sciences, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Nashville
2Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
3Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Nashville
4Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(12):1197-1199. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2660.
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This quality improvement project assesses the preferences of veterans with regard to telephone, video, and in-person postoperative visits.

There is increasing interest in telehealth as a means to improve access to care and decrease costs associated with patients traveling for traditional face-to-face encounters.1 This is especially important in the Veterans Health Administration patient population and consistent with the principles laid out in the Veterans Health Administration’s “Blueprint for Excellence.”2 Prior research has focused on the role of telehealth in the management of chronic conditions, although more recent work has demonstrated a role for telehealth in the preoperative and postoperative care of general surgery patients.3,4 Less is known about the preferences of patients for these types of visits across telehealth modalities. Our aim was to measure the quality of the visits and the preferences for postoperative general surgical care among veterans with regard to telephone, video, and in-person postoperative visits.

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