Teleconsultation in pediatric anesthesia: First assessment of feasibility, quality, and satisfaction in France

Paediatr Anaesth. 2023 Mar 16. doi: 10.1111/pan.14663. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the development of anesthesia teleconsultation in many countries. In pediatric anesthesia, data about anesthesia teleconsultation are scarce. The main objective of this prospective descriptive study was to provide an evaluation of the feasibility of pediatric anesthesia teleconsultation. Perception of the safety and quality, parental and medical satisfaction were also assessed.

Methods: From September to December 2020, patients undergoing a pediatric anesthesia teleconsultation in Toulouse University Hospital, using the TeleO™ dedicated teleconsultation platform were prospectively included. Feasibility was defined as the rate of anesthesia teleconsultations successfully performed using the TeleO™ platform alone. Questionnaires regarding the quality, safety, and satisfaction were filled in by physicians and families.

Results: A total of 114 children (3 months-17 years) were included in the study. Feasibility was 82%, failure was mainly caused by technical issues. Physicians estimated that the safety and quality of anesthetic preparation were optimal in 100% of cases. Anesthetists were satisfied (VAS ≥70/100) with the medical, technical, and relational (child/parents) aspects of anesthesia teleconsultation in 91%, 64%, and 84%/90% of cases respectively. Almost all parents (97%) stated that they would agree to anesthesia teleconsultation for a future procedure.

Conclusion: In this first assessment, pediatric anesthesia teleconsultation appears to be feasible, with high rates of medical and parental satisfaction. Physicians' perception of the safety and quality of this process were positive. Improving the technical process might be a key determinant to promote further development of pediatric anesthesia teleconsultation.

Keywords: children; preanesthesia assessment; teleconsultation; telemedicine.