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Nemours Orthopedic Surgeons Write Telemedicine Textbook

Wilmington, Del. (December 3, 2020) Two Nemours Children’s Health System orthopedic surgeons wrote and edited a new textbook dedicated to telemedicine in orthopedics. “Telemedicine in Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine,” recently published by Springer, outlines the nuts and bolts of setting up telemedicine services from experts who have embraced the technology and its potential.

The textbook authors include 12 experts from Nemours Children’s Health System, as well as 11 experts from around the country, including Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Philadelphia, PA; Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; and the Center for Rural Health Innovation, Spruce Pine, NC.

The use of telemedicine, or “virtual doctor visits” has risen exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic. At Nemours Children’s Health System, use of the Nemours CareConnect telemedicine platform has increased twentyfold.

But even pre-COVID, Nemours along with other early adopters of telemedicine, understood the benefits, and how virtual visits for appointments, like surgical discussions and post-operative checkups, could be more convenient for families and be more cost-effective.

 “We began using telemedicine more than five years ago, so when the pandemic hit, we were ready,” explains Alfred Atanda Jr., MD, editor of the textbook and Director, Center for Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. “We have taken all of our experiences and learnings, from pre-COVID to today, and show how a clinical practice can implement a telemedicine program safely and efficiently. This book demonstrates our vision of how we would like to re-imagine healthcare delivery for patients who enter our orthopedic ecosystem. ”

The textbook provides a general overview of telemedicine as well as specific suggestions and recommendations, such as where and how to get started, how to implement a telemedicine program, how to do research in telemedicine, and how to develop clinical guidelines and best practices for work in telemedicine.

Specific chapters cover important topics like regulation and licensing, billing and coding, ethics, and etiquette. Suggestions and considerations for provider-to-provider, direct-to-consumer, and school-based telemedicine service are likewise presented. Finally, insights into global telemedicine implementation and research are detailed. 

“COVID-19 has demonstrated how crucial telemedicine services are to maintaining the standard of care for our patients,” says John F. Lovejoy III, MD editor of the textbook and Chair, Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Chair, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Nemours Children’s Hospital. “The benefits of this capability add tremendous value to patients, providers, and clinical practices. And while the focus is on orthopedic and sports medicine practices, this textbook takes the guesswork out of initiating and implementing telemedicine services across a single practice or an entire health system. I hope our book will give guidance to both orthopedic practices and other medical practices who wish to implement or improve their telemedicine services during and after the COVID crisis.” 

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About Nemours Children’s Health System. Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty, and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, KidsHealth.org and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.