Survey of paediatricians’ opinions on a regional paediatric telecardiology service

Authors


  • Conflict of interest: No conflict of interest.

Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study is to evaluate consultant general paediatricians’ opinions of a UK paediatric telecardiology service.

Methods

A structured questionnaire was developed and sent to all consultant paediatricians working in a district general hospital in Northern Ireland.

Results

Paediatricians (n = 35) regarded the regional paediatric telecardiology service as very useful and of good value for money. Paediatricans in hospitals without access to telecardiology expressed a desire to join the network (86%, 12/14). More frequent use of the paediatric telecardiology service was associated with increased confidence in performing echocardiography and using the telemedicine equipment and a special interest in neonatology. The vast majority of paediatricians (32/35, 91%) believed that there should be a shared clinical responsibility for the patient following a teleconsultation. A total of 33/35 (94%) stated that the telephone costs of the consultation should be paid by the paediatrician but that the professional time of the cardiologist should be paid by the tertiary centre (29/35, 83%).

Conclusions

Paediatricians have consistently positive experiences of a regional paediatric telecardiology service. They believe that clinical responsibility is shared, and there should not be any professional fee for telemedicine activities.

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