March 7, 2024

Patient engagement technologies improve surgical outcomes, perioperative experience

Editor's Note

Patient engagement technologies (PETs) reduced length of stay (LOS), complication rates, and readmission rates among patients in a study published February 16 in the American Journal of Surgery.

The retrospective cohort study consisted of more than 400 patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery from 2018 to 2022. Approximately 9 out of every 10 patients activated the PET. Patients completed a median of seven surveys, two in-hospital health checks, and one post-discharge health check. Overall, those who engaged more frequently with the PET had shorter LOS and lower rates of readmission and post-operative complications. 

Specifically, the median LOS was 3 days across the entire group, but LOS was longer for patients who completed no surveys compared to those who completed at least two. Patients who were readmitted (14.1% of the total) and those who had post-operative complications (13.9% of the total) completed significantly fewer surveys and post-discharge health checks. Completion of surveys in more phases was associated with shorter LOS and lower readmission rates. Completion of more post-discharge health-checks was associated with lower complication rate.

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