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Efficiency of Text Message Contact on Medical Safety in Outpatient Surgery: Retrospective Study

  • Peuchot, Jeremy1
  • Allard, Etienne2
  • Dureuil, Bertrand1
  • Veber, Benoit1
  • Compère, Vincent1, 3, 4
  • 1 Rouen University Hospital, Rouen , (France)
  • 2 Le Havre Hospital, Le Havre , (France)
  • 3 Day Surgery Unit, Rouen University Hospital , (France)
  • 4 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Unité 982, Rouen , (France)
Published Article
JMIR mHealth and uHealth
JMIR Publications
Publication Date
Sep 10, 2020
DOI: 10.2196/14346
PMID: 32909948
PMCID: PMC7516679
PubMed Central
External links


Background Establishing pre- and postoperative contact with patients is part of successful medical management in outpatient surgery. In France, this is mostly done via telephone. Automated information with short message service (SMS) reminders might be an interesting alternative to increase the rate of compliance with preoperative instructions, but no study has shown the safety of this approach. Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of pre- and postoperative automated information with SMS reminders on medical safety in outpatient surgery. Methods We conducted a retrospective, single-center, nonrandomized, controlled study with a before-after design. All adult patients who had outpatient surgery between September 2016 and December 2017 in our university hospital center were included. Before April 2017, patients were contacted by telephone by an outpatient surgery nurse. After April 2017, patients were contacted by SMS reminder. All patients were contacted the day before and the day after surgery. Patients contacted by SMS reminder were also contacted on day 7 after surgery. The primary end point was the conversion rate to full-time hospitalization. Secondary end points were hospitalization causes (anesthetic, surgical, organizational) and hospitalization costs. Results A total of 4388 patients were included, 2160 before and 2228 after the introduction of SMS reminders. The conversion rate to full-time hospitalization was 34/4388 (0.77%) with a difference between SMS group (8/2228, 0.36%) and telephone group (26/2160, 1.20%). The cost of SMS reminders was estimated as half that of telephone calls. Conclusions In this work, we report a decrease in the rate of conversion to full-time hospitalization with the use of pre- and postoperative SMS reminders. This new approach could represent a safe and cost-effective method in an outpatient surgery setting.

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