Background: We present an innovative care model for telehealth by creating a video conference group telemedicine program for patients with chronic disease and discuss findings from a post-program survey that was instrumental in understanding the response to telemedicine in a group setting. Methods: All patients who attended the group telemedicine program had a diagnosis of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder and were requested to complete survey responses at the close of the program. Surveys were completed anonymously and electronically by REDCap. Elements of the Press Ganey, Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, and Utah Telehealth Network patient satisfaction surveys were modified to construct the survey. Results: A total of 102 patients completed the post-telehealth program survey between August 20, 2021, and February 11, 2022. Around 93.1% stated that they gained a better understanding of the chronic condition, 88.3% stated that the program gave them the tools to improve, and 76.5% indicated the program addressed their specific needs. Approximately 92.1% found it easy to interact with the program facilitator and 79.4% found it easy to interact with program members. Around 93.1% said they would recommend the program to others. Discussion: We created a group telemedicine program for a complex chronic medical condition. The foundation of knowledge provided by the telemedicine program allowed more time during face-to-face encounters for individual assessment of the patient, and increased access to care. Overall, the program has improved the treatment process by reducing treatment burden and empowering patients with self-management skills to help reach our fundamental treatment goal of improving quality of life.
Keywords: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; chronic disease; delivery of health care; hypermobility; telehealth; telemedicine.