Patients in rural areas typically require more perioperative ‘optimization’ for surgery. The rural healthcare systems often overwhelmed with coordinating perioperative services and deliver less than optimal surgical outcomes. This is due to limited supporting microsystems and ability to effectively engage and track patients over the 120-day perioperative period to limit post-surgical complications. The study assessed longitudinal patient engagement within a newly established Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) at a rural community hospital serving 10+ surrounding counties to identify barriers and best practices for engagement. A digital patient engagement platform was implemented and used to assess longitudinal patient outcomes and engagement from 30 days preoperative to 90 days postoperative. The research team (health systems engineers teamed with clinicians) analyzed 2-years of collected patient data (n= 301) primarily consisting of Total Joint Replacement (TJR) procedures. The digital patient engagement system’s email and text messages allowed patients and PSH staff to track outcomes, experience, and collaborate on post-surgical events. The average patient engagement was low (less than 40%). However, the average survey completion was 90%, i.e., if a patient responded to a survey on a particular day, on average patients finished 90% of the survey. Patient engagement was critically important to improving surgical care in rural areas. Digital longitudinal patient engagement implemented by PSH clinic was successful at rural community hospitals serving patients from 10+ surrounding counties.
This article is associated with the Innovation & Technology lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework (https://www.theberylinstitute.org/ExperienceFramework).
Sridhar S, Hunter AM, McCrory B. Digital patient engagement at a perioperative surgical home implemented community hospital. Patient Experience Journal. 2023; 10(1):141-154. doi: 10.35680/2372-0247.1683.
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