Teleurology in the Time of Covid-19 Pandemic: Here to Stay?

Lorenzo Giuseppe Luciani, Daniele Mattevi, Tommaso Cai, Guido Giusti, Silvia Proietti, Gianni Malossini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the implementation and outcomes of telemedicine in a Department of Urology in Northern Italy during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Methods: All the outpatient clinical activities during the 4 weeks following the national lockdown (March 9-April 3, 2020) in the Department of Urology of the Trento Province, Italy, were reviewed and categorized. Expert staff members examined the electronic records, selecting whether the clinic appointments should be canceled or confirmed (via telephone consultation or face-to-face visit). The rate, indication, and modality of visits were investigated. Results: Overall, 415 of 928 (45%) scheduled patients canceled their clinic appointment themselves or were canceled by staff members without rescheduling. The remaining 523 (55%) cases were screened undergoing telephone consultation in 295 (56%) and face-to-face visit in 228 (44%). The rate of face-to-face visit decreased from 63% to 9% during week 1 and 4, respectively. Seventy-four percent of face-to-face visits regarded suspected recurrent or new onset malignancy or potentially dangerous clinical conditions (severe urinary symptoms or complicated urinary stones or infection). The median age of patients in the face-to-face and telephone groups was 59 (range 20-69) and 65 years old (range 37-88), respectively. Conclusion: A pandemic is a dynamic scenario, requiring reorganization and flexibility of the healthcare delivery. Forty-five percent visits were canceled without rescheduling. Although a minimum portion of face-to-face visit (<10% 1 month after the lockdown) was preserved mostly for suspected malignancy or potentially life-threatening conditions, telemedicine proved a pragmatic approach allowing efficient screening of cases and adequate protection for patients and clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-6
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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