Online Program

Electronic follow up after an emergency department (ED) visit for pain: A pilot study

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Albert Yu, MS-1, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsyvania, Philadelphia, PA
Charlotte Lawson, MS-4, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsyvania, Philadelphia, PA
Melissa Rodgers, BA, Department of Emergency Medicine Perelman School of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsyvania, Philadelphia, PA
Karin Rhodes, MD, MS, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Background: EDs frequently see patients without access to outpatient care and 42% of ED visits are for complaints of pain. Electronic communication has the potential to allow tracking outcomes of care but it is not known if this communication is feasible and acceptable to ED patients. Methods: Participants with an ED visit for a painful condition were approached for a pilot of electronic follow up (by daily text or email) for one week after their ED visit. No incentives were provided. Patients were asked to respond to two text/email questions both on a scale of 0(none) - 10(worse) regarding their level of pain and the degree to which their pain was interfering with their usual activities. Single group analysis of variance in repeated measures was used to analyze the results. Findings: Out of twenty three patients approached, twenty enrolled (87%); fourteen (70%) responded at least once to a follow-up electronic prompt. Ten participants (50%) completed all follow up prompts. The median number of responses was 6.5. Reductions in the mean reported pain value and improvements in the mean reported functional status value from the reported baseline values became significant at the four day mark. Thirteen patients (65%) provided feedback via phone or email; the majority (95%) indicated that electronic follow-up was sensible and 58% said that they would recommend it to a friend. Conclusions: Electronic follow-up was feasible and acceptable to ED patients and has the potential to provide short term follow up on patient status after an ED visit.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Assess the feasibility of using electronic communications to obtain patient follow-up data on level of pain and functional status after an ED visit for a painful condition. Evaluate ED patients’ ability, willingness, perceptions, and actual participation in daily electronic follow up for one week after an ED visit.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student who has been involved in the planning, collection, and analysis of the data to be presented. Aside from this research experience, I have no clinical or background experiences in this field.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.