Objective To report on results from a new tele-urology pathway for managing hematuria consults, including a survey of patient attitudes and satisfaction with such a program. Recent guideline changes have relaxed the definition of microscopic hematuria and may have significantly increased the number of hematuria evaluations. Materials and Methods Patients referred to the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center with hematuria were scheduled for a tele-urology clinic encounter utilizing a telephone call to obtain hematuria-related clinical information via a standardized algorithm. At subsequent cystoscopy, patients were evaluated with a 29-question survey regarding overall acceptance and satisfaction of the clinic (8 questions) and impact factors (21 questions). Results One hundred fifty veterans participated in the survey. Median time from consult request to appointment was 12 days and thereafter to cystoscopy was 16 days. Patients reported high acceptance and overall satisfaction with telephone evaluation; mean scores exceeded 9 out of 10 for overall satisfaction, efficiency, convenience, friendliness, care quality, understandability, privacy, and professionalism. When presented with a choice, nearly all patients (98%) preferred telephone-based encounters to face-to-face clinic visits. Underlying negative factors responsible for patients' preferences included transportation-related issues (97%) and logistical clinic issues (65%). Ninety-seven percent of patients reported high-quality evaluation. Conclusion Patients report high acceptance and satisfaction with telephone clinics as a mechanism for expedited hematuria evaluation, primarily due to avoiding barriers related to transportation and clinical operations, as well as a perceived high quality of evaluation. Telephone appointments have potential to positively impact healthcare access and productivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas