Patient Use and Clinical Practice Patterns of Remote Cardiology Clinic Visits in the Era of COVID-19

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Importance: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented shift in ambulatory cardiovascular care from in-person to remote visits. Objective: To understand whether the transition to remote visits is associated with disparities in patient use of care, diagnostic test ordering, and medication prescribing. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study used electronic health records data for all ambulatory cardiology visits at an urban, multisite health system in Los Angeles County, California, during 2 periods: April 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019 (pre-COVID) and April 1 to December 31, 2020 (COVID-era). Statistical analysis was performed from January to February 2021. Exposure: In-person or remote ambulatory cardiology clinic visit at one of 31 during the pre-COVID period or COVID-era period. Main Outcomes and Measures: Comparison of patient characteristics and frequencies of medication ordering and cardiology-specific testing across 4 visit types (pre-COVID in-person (reference), COVID-era in-person, COVID-era video, COVID-era telephone). Results: This study analyzed data from 87182 pre-COVID in-person, 74498 COVID-era in-person, 4720 COVID-era video, and 10381 COVID-era telephone visits. Across visits, 79572 patients were female (45.0%), 127080 patients were non-Hispanic White (71.9%), and the mean (SD) age was 68.1 (17.0) years. Patients accessing COVID-era remote visits were more likely to be Asian, Black, or Hispanic individuals (24934 pre-COVID in-person visits [28.6%] vs 19742 COVID-era in-person visits [26.5%] vs 3633 COVID-era video visits [30.4%] vs 1435 COVID-era telephone visits [35.0%]; P




Yuan, N., Pevnick, J. M., Botting, P. G., Elad, Y., Miller, S. J., Cheng, S., & Ebinger, J. E. (2021). Patient Use and Clinical Practice Patterns of Remote Cardiology Clinic Visits in the Era of COVID-19. JAMA Network Open.

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