Increased use of the internet and smartphones now makes it possible to capture post-discharge perioperative patient-reported outcomes (PROs) outside of the clinical setting. Two feasibility studies presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society of Enhanced Recovery and reviewed in an article in Anesthesiology News, aimed to collect PRO data using a web-based system that tracks the recovery process over a period of time after discharge through PRO surveys. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) aims to reduce the time patients need to spend in the hospital, which increases the recovery time at home.
478 ERAS patients participated in the first study. The PRO surveys were sent out in three waves: Wave 1: web-based surveys sent using email only, Wave 2: surveys sent using text-only, Wave 3: surveys sent using a combination of both email and text. All three waves of surveys were sent at different time intervals pre and post surgery. The study found that the combined text and email approach was the most successful method at all times compared to using text or email alone. The combined approach achieved 65% response at 7 days and 64% at 30 days.
The second study was conducted for new mothers with 718 participants and focused on collecting PROs over the first 30 days postpartum. This study also found that the combined email and text method was most successful – 66% response at 7 days, 48% at 30 days – finding a higher rate of response decline over time.
Dr. Yaakov Beilin, Director of Obstetric Anesthesia at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, opined that web-based methods for assessing patients “may be the future for finding out how satisfied our patients are with their care.”