Validation of a virtual preoperative evaluation clinic: a pilot study

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2011:163:737-9.


Patients scheduled for surgery at the Omaha VA Medical Center were evaluated preoperatively via telemedicine. Following the examination, patients filled out a 15 item, 5 point Likert scale questionnaire regarding their opinion of preoperative evaluation in a VTC format. Evaluations were performed under the direction of nationally recognized guidelines and recommendations of experts in the field of perioperative medicine and were overseen by a staff anesthesiologist from the Omaha VA Medical Center. No significant difficulties were encountered by the patient or the evaluator regarding the quality of the audio/visual capabilities of the VTC link and its ability to facilitate preoperative evaluation. 87.5% of patients felt that virtual evaluation would save them travel time; 87.5% felt virtual evaluation could save them money; 7.3% felt uncomfortable using the VTC link; 12.2% felt the virtual evaluation took longer than expected; 70.7% preferred to be evaluated via VTC link; 21.9% were undecided; 9.7% felt they would rather be evaluated face-to-face with 26.8% undecided; 85.0% felt that teleconsultation was as good as being seen at the Omaha surgical evaluation unit; 7.5% were undecided. Our study has shown that effective preoperative evaluation can be performed using a virtual preoperative evaluation clinic; patients are receptive to the VTC format and, in the majority of cases, prefer it to face-to-face evaluation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nebraska
  • Patient Education as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Preoperative Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Remote Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • User-Computer Interface