Telemedicine Adoption in an NCI-Designated Cancer Center During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Report on Patient Experience of Care

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Krupal B. Patel Department of Head and Neck and Endocrine Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida
Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

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Amir Alishahi Tabriz Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Kea Turner Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Brian D. Gonzalez Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Laura B. Oswald Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Heather S.L. Jim Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Oliver T. Nguyen Department of Health Outcomes and Behavior, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Young-Rock Hong Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

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Nasrin Aldawoodi Department of Anesthesia, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Biwei Cao Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Xuefeng Wang Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Dana E. Rollison Department of Cancer Epidemiology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Edmondo J. Robinson Department of Internal and Hospital Medicine, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida
Center for Digital Health, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Cristina Naso Virtual Health Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Philippe E. Spiess Virtual Health Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida
Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida

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Background: Patients with cancer require timely access to care so that healthcare providers can prepare an optimal treatment plan with significant implications for quality of life and mortality. The COVID-19 pandemic spurred rapid adoption of telemedicine in oncology, but study of patient experience of care with telemedicine in this population has been limited. We assessed overall patient experience of care with telemedicine at an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center during the COVID-19 pandemic and examined changes in patient experience over time. Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective study of outpatient oncology patients who received treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center. Press Ganey surveys were used to assess patient experience. Data from patients with appointments between April 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, were analyzed. Patient experience was compared between telemedicine and in-person visits, and patient experience with telemedicine over time was described. Results: A total of 33,318 patients reported Press Ganey data for in-person visits, and 5,950 reported Press Ganey data for telemedicine visits. Relative to patients with in-person visits, more patients with telemedicine visits gave higher satisfaction ratings for access (62.5% vs 75.8%, respectively) and care provider concern (84.2% vs 90.7%, respectively) (P<.001). When adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, sex, insurance, and clinic type, telemedicine visits consistently outperformed in-person visits over time regarding access and care provider concern (P<.001). There were no significant changes over time in satisfaction with telemedicine visits regarding access, care provider concern, telemedicine technology, or overall assessment (P>.05). Conclusions: In this study, a large oncology dataset showed that telemedicine resulted in better patient experience of care in terms of access and care provider concern compared with in-person visits. Patient experience of care with telemedicine visits did not change over time, suggesting that implementing telemedicine was effective.

Submitted July 10, 2022; final revision received November 30, 2022; accepted for publication February 2, 2023.

Previous presentation: Part of this manuscript was presented at the ATA2022 Annual Conference & Expo; May 1–3, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts.

Author contributions: Conceptualization: Patel, Alishai Tabriz, Turner, Gonzalez, Naso, Spiess. Data curation: Patel, Naso. Formal analysis: Patel, Cao, Wang. Methodology: Patel, Rollison, Naso, Spiess. Writing: Patel, Alishai Tabriz, Turner, Gonzalez, Oswald, Jim, Nguyen, Hong, Aldawoodi, Rollison, Robinson, Naso, Spiess.

Disclosures: Dr. Gonzalez has disclosed serving on an advisory board for Eli Lilly; and as a consultant for Sure Med Compliance, Elly Health, and KemPharm. Dr. Jim has disclosed serving as a consultant for Janssen Scientific Affairs and Merck & Co., Inc.; as a principal investigator for Kite Pharma; and as a consultant for SBR Life Sciences. Dr. Rollison has disclosed holding an executive position, serving on a governance board, or being employed by NanoString Technologies, Inc. The remaining authors have disclosed that they have not received any financial consideration from any person or organization to support the preparation, analysis, results, or discussion of this article.

Funding: This work was supported in part by the Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Shared Resource at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and funded in part by Moffitt’s Cancer Center Support Grant (P30-CA076292).

Correspondence: Krupal B. Patel, MD, MSc, Department of Head and Neck and Endocrine Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612. Email: krupal.patel@moffitt.org

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