An occasional, simple “How are you feeling?” text from a primary care team can make a big difference in patients’ health after they are discharged from the hospital, according to a new JAMA Network Open study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine.
After patients were discharged from a hospital following emergency care, researchers saw a significant decrease in hospital readmission among patients who received automated check-in text messages from their primary care team. Specifically, the researchers found a 55% decline in the likelihood that these patients would need to stay at the hospital again in the next month, and a 41% reduction in the odds that they would need emergency care of any kind over the next 30 days.
“In a fragmented health care landscape, relatively simple applications of technology can help patients feel more connected to their primary care practice,” says the study’s first author, Eric Bressman, a fellow in the National Clinical Scholars Program at Penn. “This is especially important as patients recover from acute illness, as it reminds them that they have a medical home to which they can turn for support.”
As health systems across the United States seek to improve public health, address capacity concerns, and reduce costs, a special focus has been placed on preventing patients needing readmission to the hospital.
This story is by Frank Otto. Read more at Penn Medicine News.