MONDAY, Nov. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — An automated texting program to support primary care patients after hospital discharge is associated with significant reductions in use of acute care resources, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in JAMA Network Open.

Eric Bressman, M.D., from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed whether a 30-day automated texting program to support primary care patients after hospital discharge is associated with reductions in the use of acute care resources. The analysis included 1,885 patients representing 2,617 discharges (447 before and 604 after the intervention at the intervention practice; 613 before and 953 after the intervention at the control practice).

The researchers found that the odds of using acute care resources were lower after implementation of the intervention (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.59; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.38 to 0.92), as were the odds of readmission (aOR, 0.45; 95 percent CI, 0.23 to 0.86). There was a trend toward lower odds of an emergency department visit (aOR, 0.77; 95 percent CI, 0.45 to 1.30). In the intervention practice, the odds of death within 30 and 60 days of discharge trended lower (aORs [95 percent CIs], 0.92 [0.23 to 3.61] and 0.63 [0.21 to 1.85], respectively).

“These findings suggest that primary care-based transitional care management programs can consider automated texting strategies to augment support for patients after hospital discharge with limited added burden to staff,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, as well as being part owner of Val Health, a health-related behavioral economics consulting firm.

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