Study: For Post-Op Patients, Mobile Apps for Follow-Up Care Led to Fewer In-Person Visits | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study: For Post-Op Patients, Mobile Apps for Follow-Up Care Led to Fewer In-Person Visits

March 23, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

For patients undergoing ambulatory surgery, those who used a mobile app for follow-up care attended fewer in-person visits post- operation than patients who did not use the app, according to a study in JAMA Surgery.

Researchers from Toronto set out to determine whether follow-up care delivered via a mobile app can be used to avert in-person follow-up care visits compared with conventional, in-person follow-up care in the first 30 days following ambulatory surgery. The randomized clinical trial included 65 patients among ambulatory patients undergoing breast reconstruction at the Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

The mobile app follow-up group had no planned in-person follow-up at one week and four weeks after the operation. However, these visits were replaced with an examination of the surgical site via photographs submitted through the mobile app—from Toronto-based QoC Health—as well as monitoring of the results of the pain visual analog scale, and quality of recovery nine-item questionnaire.

The results revealed that the in-person group attended a mean 1.64 in-person visits during the first 30 days after surgery; this mean includes three patients who visited the emergency department. Comparatively, the mobile app group attended a mean 0.66 in-person visits during the first 30 days after surgery; no patients in the mobile app group visited the emergency department. Overall, the mobile app group was 0.40 times less likely to attend in-person follow-up care during the first 30 days after surgery compared with the in-person group, the researchers found.

What’s more, while was no statistically significant difference in satisfaction scores between groups, the group using the mobile app reported higher convenience scores than did the group receiving in-person follow-up care. Thirty-one patients in the mobile app group (97 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that the type of follow-up care they received was convenient. Only 16 patients in the in-person group (48 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that the type of follow-up care they received was convenient.

The researchers concluded, “A growing number of procedures, including complex operations such as autologous breast reconstruction, are offered in an ambulatory setting. Patients using the mobile app require approximately two minutes to input the quality of recovery, pain visual analog scale, and photographs of the surgical site. This ease of use allows patients to submit data frequently (i.e., daily or weekly), providing a continuous, richer inflow of information than could ever be achieved by telephone or in-person follow-up care… These are important findings given the current demands on the healthcare system and the push toward patient-centric care.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Survey: Infrastructure, Interoperability Key Barriers to Global HIT Development

A new survey report from Black Book Research on global healthcare IT adoption and records systems connectivity finds nations in various phases of regional electronic health record (EHR) adoption. The survey results also reveal rapidly advancing opportunities for U.S.-based and local technology vendors.

Penn Medicine Opens Up Telehealth Hub

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine has opened its Center for Connected Care to centralize the health system’s telemedicine activities.

Roche to Pay $1.9B for Flatiron Health

Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Roche has agreed to pay $1.9 billion to buy New York-based Flatiron Health Inc., which has both an oncology EHR and data analytics platform.

Financial Exec Survey: Interoperability Key Obstacle to Value-Based Payment Models

Momentum continues to grow for value-based care as nearly three-quarters of healthcare executives report their organizations have achieved positive financial results from value-based payment programs, to date, according to a new study from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Cerner, Children's National to Help UAE Pediatric Center with Health IT

Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, the only pediatric hospital in the United Arab Emirates, has entered into an agreement with Washington, D.C.-based Children's National Health System to form a health IT strategic partnership.

Telemedicine Association Names New CEO

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has named Ann Mond Johnson its new CEO, replacing Jon Linkous who stepped down suddenly last August after 24 years as the organization’s CEO.