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The Effect of Web-Based Education on Patient Satisfaction, Consultation Time and Conversion to Surgery



To evaluate the effect of web-based education on (1) patient satisfaction, (2) consultation times, and (3) conversion to surgery.


A retrospective review of 767 new patient consultations seen by 4 university-based plastic surgeons was conducted between May 2012 and August 2013 to determine the effect a web-based education program has on patient satisfaction and consultation time. A standard 5-point Likert scale survey completed at the end of the consultation was used to assess satisfaction with their experience. Consult times were obtained from the electronic medical record. All analyses were done with Statistical Analysis Software version 9.2 (SAS Inc., Cary, NC). A P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


Those who viewed the program before their consultation were more satisfied with their consultation compared to those who did not (satisfaction scores, mean ± SD: 1.13 ± 0.44 vs 1.36 ± 0.74; P = 0.02) and more likely to rate their experience as excellent (92% vs 75%; P = 0.02). Contrary to the claims of Emmi Solutions, patients who viewed the educational program before consultation trended toward longer visits compared to those who did not (mean time ± SD: 54 ± 26 vs 50 ± 35 minutes; P = 0.10). More patients who completed the program went on to undergo a procedure (44% vs 37%; P = 0.16), but this difference was not statistically significant.


Viewing web-based educational programs significantly improved plastic surgery patients' satisfaction with their consultation, but patients who viewed the program also trended toward longer consultation times. Although there was an increase in converting to surgical procedures, this did not reach statistical significance.

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