SMS aiding surgical procedures

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An iphone with a bottle of pills next to it, illustraionPatients about to undergo surgery are often preoccupied with anticipating the aftermath of their procedure. Thinking about what will change after the operation, for better or worse, they are fixated on the future. This mindset can cause a reduced focus on preoperative processes that are vital to ensure a successful recovery. SMS provides an important solution to this problem.

Text messages can provide the kind of quick, easy and cost-efficient customised reminder schedule tailored for patients’ specific needs. For example, patients often need to stop eating by midnight the day before the surgery. Scheduling text messaging to remind patients when to begin fasting is a great way to ensure that this preoperative procedure is followed.

A recent study from the Medical College of Wisconsin showed the potential text messages could have the impact of increasing patient compliance with pre-surgical showers. In the US each year, there are 400,000 surgical infections, and one quarter of them are fatal. Encouraging antiseptic showers with CHG two or three times within 24-48 hours prior to admission can greatly decrease the risk of infection.

The study split 80 people into two groups: one group received text messages instructing them to take showers, whilst the other group did not. Researchers found the group that receive text messages had, on average, a 66% lower concentration of CHG on their skin.

Text messaging can also be useful for calming the anxiety patients experience prior to major surgery, as this is an unpleasant experience most patients go through.

SMS messaging could assist with the recovery process as well. Reminders for adherence to medication schedules via text message could help the continued treatment. Messages can also contain helpful information that prevent later complications, like reminding patients that they may need assistance getting out of bed, before they attempt this without help.

To learn more about how SMS could help patients undergoing surgery, as well as other great uses of SMS in the healthcare industry, give us a call on 1300 764 946. Or better yet, sign up for our free trial today!

 

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Felicity Cullen

Marketing assistant at Esendex