Electronic Patient Symptom Reporting with Alerts and Potenti
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Increasingly complex surgical procedures are being performed in the outpatient setting, increasing the burden on patients and caregivers to manage their postoperative symptoms. Electronic patient-reported symptom tracking may reduce this burden and help patients distinguish between expected symptoms and those requiring intervention.

The aim was to determine whether electronic symptom reporting with clinical alerts for 10 days after ambulatory cancer surgery is associated with a reduction in potentially avoidable urgent care visits, defined as a visit not leading to admission.

Patients undergoing prostatectomy, nephrectomy, mastectomy with or without immediate reconstruction, hysterectomy, or thyroidectomy at the surgery center before (n=4195) and after (n=2970) implementation of the Recovery Tracker (RT) electronic postoperative symptom survey were included.

A total of 7165 patients were analyzed, including 4195 from the pre-RT implementation period and 2970 from after full implementation.

--On multivariable, intent-to-treat analysis by study period, having surgery in the post-RT period was associated with a 22% decrease in the odds of an urgent care center visit without readmission.

--Having responded to at least 1 survey was associated with a 42% reduction in the odds of an urgent care center visit without readmission.

--There was no change in the risk of admission. Nursing calls increased by a mean of 0.86 calls per patient after RT implementation, a 34% increase.

Conclusively, electronic symptom reporting with nursing follow-up for clinical alerts was associated with a reduction in potentially avoidable urgent care visits. The low risk and high benefit of this intervention suggest that these systems should be more broadly implemented.

JAMA Surgery
Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/article-abstract/2780524
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