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Follow-up care through mobile app post-surgery leads to fewer in-person visits, study says

April 3, 2017

By Atifa Hamir

Dr. John Semple
Dr. John Semple

Patients who used a mobile app for follow-up care after receiving ambulatory breast reconstruction surgery had fewer in-person visits with their healthcare provider for the first 30 days post-surgery, without increased complications or a decrease in patient satisfaction, according to a study published online by Jama Surgery in March.

“With the increasing emphasis on the importance of patient-centred care, this study demonstrates that utilizing new delivery models can get patients the care they need while keeping them engaged in their care without requiring them to make in-person visits,” said Dr. John L. Semple, corresponding author and surgeon at WCH.

The study, which was conducted at Women’s College Hospital (WCH) in 2015, followed 65 women - 33 of whom received follow-up care through in-person visits and 32 of whom received care through a mobile app. The app allowed the latter group to submit photographs, answer questions from a recovery questionnaire and rate their pain on a scale.

Researchers found that the patients who used the app attended 0.4 times fewer in-person visits for follow-up care and sent more emails to their providers for the first 30 days after their surgery, than those who received in-person follow-up care. The group that used the app was also more likely to agree that their type of follow-up care was more convenient. Both groups had similar levels of patient satisfaction scores and low complication rates.

To learn more about the study, click here

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