NYMC Faculty Publications

Current State and Future Perspectives of Telemedicine Use in Surgery During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review Protocol

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International Journal of Surgery Protocols

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Introduction: The biggest concerns in the current pandemic are enormous workload pressure, psychological distress, caregiver burnout, and, even worse, transmission of the virus among healthcare workers. One of the potentially beneficial tools in reducing the above-mentioned risks for overwhelming the healthcare system is telemedicine. Although the role of telemedicine and related interventions as a crisis management tool has increased, the current state of the implementation of telemedicine in surgery and surgical subspecialties has not been adequately evaluated.

Objective and significance: The objective of this review is to screen the literature, extract expert opinions, qualitative, and quantitative data on the current use and future directions in the implementation of telemedicine in surgery and surgical subspecialties during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings would potentially help in understanding the challenges and future directions of telemedicine use in surgery.

Methods and analysis: The databases to be searched include PubMed, EMBASE, and MEDLINE (via Ovid). In addition, ClinicalTrials.gov and medRxiv.org will be searched for any ongoing and/or unpublished studies. The reference lists of articles included in the review will be screened to assess the sensitivity of the search. Literature search, quality assessment, followed by data extraction will be performed by two independent researchers. The findings of the data synthesis will be reported in diagrams, tables, and text. This review will consider reports that include expert opinions, qualitative and quantitative data on the implementation of telemedicine in surgery and surgical subspecialties (including patients with surgical disease of any age) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, future perspectives reported based either on the evidence provided by the data or on expert opinions will be considered.

Ethics and dissemination: This study does not require an institutional review board approval given its summary design nature. Findings of this systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO does not currently accept registrations for scoping reviews, literature reviews or mapping reviews.

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