Skip to content Skip to navigation

Electronic Reminders Can Help Patients Prevent Surgical Site Infections

August 1, 2014
by John DeGaspari
| Reprints
A study reports on a simple digital messaging system that significantly increases patient compliance with a preadmission showering

The use of electronic reminders such as text messages, emails or voicemails is highly effective at getting surgical patients to adhere to a preadmission antiseptic showering regimen known to help reduce risk of surgical site infections (SSIs), according a study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Each year approximately 400,000 SSIs occur and lead to a death rate approaching nearly 100,000 according to data sources cited by study authors. To help reduce the risk of these dangerous infections, clinicians recommend that surgical patients take antiseptic showers 24 to 48 hours before admission.

 “In general, getting patients to comply with this preadmission cleansing strategy is a challenge throughout health care,” said lead study author Charles E. Edmiston, Ph.D., professor of surgery and hospital epidemiologist, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in a prepared satatement. “When you use a prompt like texting or emailing, you make the patient an intimate partner in the health care process.” 

For the study, researchers recruited 80 healthy volunteers who were randomized to one of four skin-antiseptic showering groups. Electronic alerts were sent as voicemails, text messages or emails, with text messages being the most popular method (80 percent) among volunteers. Volunteers were randomized to either taking two or three showers. Each of those groups was subdivided into groups that received an electronic prompt to shower or did not receive an electronic prompt.

The researchers found that the patients who did not receive digital communications reminding them to shower were significantly less compliant with preadmission orders compared with those who received the electronic reminders. “I think a study like this provides us with a tremendous opportunity to empower patients because it clearly makes them an intimate partner in the whole health care experience,” Dr. Edmiston said.

 

Topics

News

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.

Survey: Cloud Technologies Helping Healthcare Organizations Improve Productivity, Efficiency

September 23, 2016
Ninety-five percent of current healthcare organization cloud infrastructure users are planning to increase their usage going forward, and among healthcare organizations not using cloud today, 58 percent of respondents said they are likely to do so in the next two years.

Study Finds Wide Variability in Effectiveness of CPOE Tools in Pediatric Hospitals

September 23, 2016
Researchers investigating the safety of CPOE systems at pediatric inpatient facilities found that while systems on average are able to intercept a majority of potential medication errors, their effectiveness varied widely among implementations.

Saint Francis Health System Acknowledges Breach, but Doesn’t Pay Ransom

September 22, 2016
Despite acknowledging that it had been the victim of a data breach involving ransomware earlier this month, the Tulsa, Okla.-based Saint Francis Health System decided not to act on the ransom demand, according to media reports.

Indian Health Service Awards $6.8 Million Contract to Avera Health for Telemedicine Services

September 22, 2016
Avera Health, a Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based health system will provide telemedicine services for seven hospitals and eight health centers within the Indian Health Service (IHS), as part of $6.8 million contract.

Provider Associations Laud Bipartisan, ACO-Focused Legislation

September 22, 2016
Four major healthcare professional associations on Thursday publicly expressed support for legislation aimed at modifying the Medicare Shared Savings Program for ACOs in order to ease providers’ concerns

AMIA Seeks Out Support for Health IT Safety Strategy, other Innovation Initiatives

September 22, 2016
The Bethesda, Md.-based American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) took to Capitol Hill this week seeking Congressional support for a national health IT safety strategy, as well as to fund efforts such as the Precision Medicine and Cancer Moonshot Initiatives.

Dr. Mostashari Gives “Report from the Field” Inside Look on Aledade ACOs

September 21, 2016
Farzad Mostashari, M.D., founder of Aledade, a company focused on physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs), co-published a report this week looking at the highs and lows of Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) ACOs in light of recent performance results released by the government.

Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives Collaborating on Precision Medicine Program

September 21, 2016
San Francisco-based Dignity Health and the Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) are collaborating on a large, community-based precision medicine program that could be available to approximately 12 million patients annually.

Walgreens Adds Teledermatology to its Digital Health Platform

September 21, 2016
Walgreens has developed a skin care platform that will be available digitally through Walgreens.com and the Walgreens mobile app and includes a connection to teledermatology services.

Study: 30 Percent of Patient Data Breaches Involve Business Associates

September 21, 2016
So far in 2016, third-party data breaches have impacted 4.5 million patients, indicating that third-party business associates pose an alarming risk to patient data, according to a new report from Protenus and DataBreaches.net.

Pages