Aim: There are a limited number of studies on the use of telemedicine by primary care physicians in Turkey. Our aim in this study was to investigate the consultation results of patients living in rural areas who were admitted to the district integrated hospital with chest pain and evaluated by a cardiologist by telemedicine.
Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. The study was conducted with patients who came to the Emergency Department of Büyükorhan Integrated Hospital with chest pain. Emergency observation forms, electrocardiograms and cardiac blood markers (CK-MB, Troponin) were evaluated. The case group consisted of 50 patients who were consulted by a cardiologist. A control group was randomly selected among patients with chest pain who were admitted to the emergency department of the hospital in a similar time period but who were not consulted. Results of these consultations including two-year survival rates of the patients were evaluated.
Results: The rate of angiography and stent administration for patients consulted by a specialist cardiologist was significantly higher than in non-consulted cases. However, there was no difference in survival times of the consulted cases compared to the controls. Age was found to be a statistically significant factor when examining the causes that affected two-year survival of patients. Hypertension and coronary artery disease were associated with two-year mortality. Referrals, intensive care admissions and hospital admissions were also among the identified risks for two-year mortality.
Conclusions: According to the results of the current study, patient referral rates and interventional procedures increased with consultation. Although the increase in the number of referrals and diagnoses did not affect mortality, it is likely that it positively affected quality of life.