June 8, 2021

Remote monitoring for ambulatory surgery patients reduces postop ED visits

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This study by researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s ambulatory surgery center, New York City, finds that remote measurement of patient-reported symptoms after surgery can improve outcomes and reduce postoperative urgent care and emergency department (ED) visits.

The researchers developed an electronic platform and alert system, called “Recovery Tracker,” which assessed patient symptoms for 10 days after surgery via daily emails and an online questionnaire. Nursing follow-up was used for clinical alerts.


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Of 7,165 patients analyzed, implementation of the Recovery Tracker was associated with a:

  • significant 22% decrease in urgent care center visits that did not result in readmission within 30 days after surgery
  • 34% increase in calls to office practice nurses.

The researchers concluded that the low risk and high benefit of the Recovery Tracker suggests that these systems should be more broadly implemented.

An accompanying editorial  notes that this study demonstrates the positive outcomes of a well-planned and executed mobile health platform on clinical care. As these data accumulate, predictive analytics informed by machine learning may also have a role to play.

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