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Invited Commentary
September 2013

Are Telephone Interviews an Adequate Substitute for Postoperative Care?

Author Affiliations
  • 1LAC+USC Medical Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
JAMA Surg. 2013;148(9):827-828. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.2704

This study by Kwa and Wren1 is timely given the potential pitfalls and unknowns of the Affordable Care Act set to be implemented later this year. It is a pilot study that looks at the feasibility of using telehealth for follow-up of ambulatory patients who had undergone either laparoscopic cholecystectomy or open unilateral inguinal hernia repair. This patient-centric study concluded that telehealth can be safely used with high degrees of patient satisfaction, decreased travel time and costs, and clinic time freed by telehealth repurposed for new patients.