Comparison of face-to-face and videoconferenced multidisciplinary clinical meetings

Publisher:
Blackwell Publishing Asia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Australasian Radiology, 2004, 48 (4), pp. 487 - 492
Issue Date:
2004-01
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A trial of videoconferencing of multidisciplinary breast cancer clinical meetings between three public hospitals was conducted in an attempt to increase attendance by medical staff at the meetings, and thus facilitate multidisciplinary care for breast cancer patients. The videoconferences were compared with the previously existing face-to-face clinical meetings through questionnaires, attendance, number of cases discussed and anthropological analysis. Although more people attended the videoconferences than the face-to-face meetings, most of the participants in the trial preferred the face-to-face meetings to the videoconferences. The mean number of cases discussed at the videoconferences was significantly less than the mean number of cases presented at the face-to-face clinical meetings. The face-to-face meetings were informal, spontaneous and conducive to open discussion. In contrast, the videoconferences were formal and regimented. Multidisciplinary case discussion can be facilitated by videoconferencing. Some of the negative experiences we encountered could be overcome with changes in meeting format. Our experience may help others in setting up a successful multidisciplinary team via videoconference.
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