The following is the summary of “Implementation of electronic messaging protocol for pediatric urology preoperative scheduling: A pilot study” published in the December 2022 issue of Pediatric urology by Schubbe, et al.

Healthcare systems always seek ways to improve the pre-operative preparation of their patients. As a result of the advent of electronic messaging (EM), some of the steps in this laborious procedure may be simplified. Their research intends to assess the efficacy of EM in preparing pediatric urology patients for surgery. The goal of this study is to evaluate how well EM can help children get ready for urological surgery. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of a 6-week EM pilot program for preoperative training in pediatric urology vs. the more conventional method of nurse phone calls (NPC). Both formats conveyed identical preoperative teaching material. Time, money, and other healthcare system resources were recorded, as was patient and parent satisfaction.

There were 98 people in the EM group and 212 in the NPC group. The cancellation rates of both cohorts were similar, with the EM cohort canceling 6.67% of its cases and the NPC cohort canceling 10.55% of its cases (z = -1.137, P=0.25). There were 4 delays in surgery due to emergency situations, and the average delay per case was 31.5 minutes (5–60 min). In comparison to the 106 (50%) NPC who required a secondary phone call, only 24 (24%) EM patients/families did so (P<0.01). For future perioperative guidance, 94% of EM participants said they would recommend EM. Taking into account the typical daily caseload across our entire children’s hospital, EM costs $5.96/day on average, while NPC costs $87.78/day on average. Our institution’s typical daily caseload equates to a savings of $81.82, or $21,273.20 per year.

Their preliminary data suggests that EM is an efficient means of providing preoperative education to children and their families having urological procedures. Their findings show low cancellations and delays in scheduled procedures and high levels of satisfaction among patients and their loved ones. Switching from the NPC to EM was also shown how much money might be saved. Given the present nationwide nursing shortage, the extra time EM freed up for nurses to focus on other patient care tasks was a significant benefit. However, the study had some limitations, such as its focus on exclusively pediatric urology patients, and its relatively short duration. To better define and more research is needed to define and refine the perioperative EM functionase delay or cancellation rates when pediatric urology patients were switched to an EM system for preoperative instructions, and patient satisfaction was very high.