Differences Between Neurosurgical Subspecialties in Telehealth Adoption

Gregory W. Basil, Daniel G. Eichberg, Maggy Perez-Dickens, Ingrid Menendez, Michael E. Ivan, Timur Urakov, Ricardo J. Komotar, Michael Y. Wang, Allan D. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The health care field has been faced with unprecedented challenges during the COVID 19 pandemic. One such challenge was the implementation of enhanced telehealth capabilities to ensure continuity of care. In this study, we aim to understand differences between subspecialties with regard to patient consent and satisfaction following telehealth implementation. METHODS: A retrospective review of the electronic medical record was performed from March 2 to May 8, 2020 to evaluate surgical consents before and after telehealth implementation. Press Ganey survey results were also obtained both pre- and posttelehealth implementation and compared. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the percentage of new patients consented for surgery (after being seen via telehealth only) between the cranial and spine services. For procedures in which >10 patients were consented for surgery, the highest proportion of patients seen only via telehealth was for ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement/endoscopic third ventriculostomy for the cranial service, and lumbar laminectomy and microdiscectomy for the spine service. Additionally, the spine service experienced marked improvement in Press Ganey scores posttelehealth implementation with overall doctor ranking improving from the 29th to the 93rd percentile, and likelihood to recommend increasing from the 24th to the 94th percentile. CONCLUSIONS: There were clear trends with regard to which pathologies and procedures were most amenable to telehealth visits, which suggests a potential roadmap for future clinic planning. Additionally, the notable improvement in spine patient satisfaction following the implementation of a telehealth program suggests the need for long-term process changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e323-e327
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19)
  • Neurosurgery subspecialty
  • Neurosurgery telehealth
  • Neurosurgery telemedicine
  • Telehealth
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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