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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Mobile Health Intervention for Prostate Biopsy Patients Reduces Appointment Cancellations: Cohort Study.

  • Author(s): Balakrishnan, Ashwin S
  • Nguyen, Hao G
  • Shinohara, Katsuto
  • Au Yeung, Reuben
  • Carroll, Peter R
  • Odisho, Anobel Y
  • et al.

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BACKGROUND:Inadequate patient education and preparation for office-based procedures often leads to delayed care, poor patient satisfaction, and increased costs to the health care system. We developed and deployed a mobile health (mHealth) reminder and education program for patients scheduled for transrectal prostate biopsy. OBJECTIVE:We aimed to evaluate the impact of an mHealth reminder and education program on appointment cancellation rates, communication frequency, and patient satisfaction. METHODS:We developed a text message (SMS, short message service)-based program with seven reminders containing links to Web-based content and surveys sent over an 18-day period (14 days before through 3 days after prostate biopsy). Messages contained educational content, reminders, and readiness questionnaires. Demographic information, appointment cancellations or change data, and patient/provider communication events were collected for 6 months before and after launching the intervention. Patient satisfaction was evaluated in the postintervention cohort. RESULTS:The preintervention (n=473) and postintervention (n=359) cohorts were composed of men of similar median age and racial/ethnic distribution living a similar distance from clinic. The postintervention cohort had significantly fewer canceled or rescheduled appointments (33.8% vs 21.2%, P<.001) and fewer same-day cancellations (3.8% vs 0.5%, P<.001). There was a significant increase in preprocedural telephone calls (0.6 vs 0.8 calls per patient, P=.02) in the postintervention cohort, but not a detectable change in postprocedural calls. The mean satisfaction with the program was 4.5 out of 5 (SD 0.9). CONCLUSIONS:An mHealth periprocedural outreach program significantly lowered appointment cancellation and rescheduling and was associated with high patient satisfaction scores with a slight increase in preprocedural telephone calls. This led to fewer underused procedure appointments and high patient satisfaction.

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