Skip to content Skip to navigation

The Doctor Will Text You Now: Effective Post-ER Follow-Up

November 11, 2013
by John DeGaspari
| Reprints
Automated text messages helped patients improve their control over chronic disease, according to study

Diabetic patients treated in the emergency department who were enrolled in a program in which they received automated daily text messages improved their level of control over their diabetes and their medication adherence, according to a study published online today in Annals of Emergency Medicine.

“Our results were especially pronounced for Latinos, who are twice as likely as non-Latinos to develop diabetes,” said lead study author Sanjay Arora, M.D., of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “These patients, when followed up by text messages for six months, improved enough to reduce their dependence on the emergency department for care of their diabetes. Text messaging is effective, low-cost and widely available for our patients who often have no other source of medical care.”

Adult patients with poorly controlled diabetes who visited an urban, public emergency department for care received two daily text messages for six months. For patients who received the text messages, blood glucose levels decreased by 1.05 percent and self-reported medication adherence improved from 4.5 to 5.4 (on an eight-point scale). Effects were even larger among Spanish speakers for both medication adherence and blood glucose levels. The proportion of patients who visited the emergency department was lower in the text messaging group (35.9 percent) than in the control group (51.6 percent). Almost all (93.6 percent) patients enrolled in the program reported enjoying it and 100 percent reported that they would recommend it to family and friends.

The text messaging program, called TExT-MED, included daily motivational messages such as “Having diabetes can lead to a heart attack or stroke—but it doesn't have to” and “Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and less salt and fat.” In addition, it provided three medication reminders per week, two healthy living challenges per week and two trivia questions per week, designed to build diabetes awareness (sample: “Trivia: Eating too much sugar and other sweet foods is a cause of diabetes. A. True. B. False.”).

 

Health IT Summit Series - Focus: POPULATION HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Get the latest information on Patient Engagement, and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day, intimate event bringing together C-level, physician, practice management and IT decision makers for strategy discussions, knowledge exchange, and one-on-one meetings.

Boston, June 23-24   |   Denver, July 12-13
Topics

News

Hawai‘i Pacific Health Becomes Two-Time HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award Winner

September 29, 2016
For the second time, Hawai‘i Pacific Health, one of the largest healthcare providers in Hawaii, has been named a HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award recipient.

CMS Awards $347M for Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks

September 29, 2016
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded $347 million to 16 healthcare organizations—of varying forms—to serve as Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIINs) and continue efforts in reducing hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions in the Medicare program.

UNC, Emory Receive $18M in Funding for HIV Health Tech Studies

September 29, 2016
A research team at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, along with colleagues at Emory University, have secured $18 million in funding over the next five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to form the UNC/Emory Center for Innovative Technology, or iTech.

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Contributes to Genomic Data Commons

September 28, 2016
The National Cancer Institute announced Sept 28 that the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has become the first nonprofit organization to donate genomic and clinical data to NCI’s Genomic Data Commons.

Uber, Circulation Collaborate on Hospital Pilot Program for Patient Transportation

September 28, 2016
Boston-based startup Circulation, as Uber’s preferred healthcare platform partner, is launching a digital healthcare transportation platform as a pilot program at several East Coast acute care and children’s hospitals.

Seven Healthcare Organizations Awarded HHS Funding to Advance Common Standards

September 28, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced seven recipients of two funding opportunities with the aim of improving the flow of health information.

Public-Private Health IT Partnership in Vermont Improving Care Coordination

September 28, 2016
Six months since go-live on a patient notification technology platform in the state of Vermont, more than 400 provider sites across New England have been notified that their patients have been seen at Vermont hospitals.

Survey: Healthcare Reform, IT Burdens Play Key Role in Reduced Physician Morale

September 27, 2016
Across the U.S., physician morale is down, with leading contributors including regulatory/paperwork burden, dissatisfaction with electronic health records (EHRs), and doubts about the future of healthcare reform.

Study: Patient Identification Errors Can Pose a Serious Risk to Patient Safety

September 27, 2016
While most patient identification errors are caught before patients are harmed, some wrong-patient events are fatal and many have the potential to cause harm. Technology, such as bar coding, can help to prevent these errors, according to an ECRI Institute report.

Randy McCleese Wins CHIME Federal Public Policy Award for CIO Leadership

September 27, 2016
Randy McCleese, vice president of information services and CIO at St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead, Ky., has been recognized as the winner of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executive’s (CHIME) Federal Public Policy Award for CIO Leadership.

USC’s Keck Medical Center Reports Ransomware Attack

September 26, 2016
The Los Angeles-based Keck Medical Center, part of the University of Southern California, has confirmed that two if its servers were hit with ransomware last month, leading to encrypted files that employees could not access.

Department of Justice Awards $8.8 Million in Grant Funding for PDMPs

September 26, 2016
In efforts to help states reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it is providing close to $9 million in grants to 19 state states to help create, implement and enhance prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).

Federal Leaders Release New Tools to Help Providers Better Leverage Health IT

September 26, 2016
President Barack Obama issued a message on Sept. 26 to kick off National Health IT Week, expressing optimism for where the industry stands today as well as hope for “reaching for the next frontier of innovation.”

Care New England Health System Will Pay $400,000 Settlement for Potential HIPAA Violations

September 26, 2016
Providence, R.I.-based Care New England Health System has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle potential HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules violations, stemming from a 2012 data breach at Woman and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.

AMA Survey: Docs Bullish on Efficient Digital Health Tools

September 26, 2016
While overall physician optimism towards digital health is present across all ages, health IT tools need to be beneficial to clinical practice and not a burden, according to an American Medical Association (AMA) survey on digital health.

Pages