Value of an interactive phone application in an established enhanced recovery program

Abstract

Purpose

An interactive mobile phone application was added to an established Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program to determine the impact on ERAS compliance as well as clinical outcomes.

Methods

We identified patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery enrolled in our ERAS program from February 2017 to July 2018. Patients enrolled in a phone application were compared with those not enrolled in terms of age, sex, diagnosis, operative approach, bowel preparation, oral intake and solid food intake, ERAS pathway adherence, and clinical outcomes.

Results

A total of 289 patients were included: 147 enrolled and 142 not enrolled in the phone application. The mean age of enrollees was 53.0 years, compared with 58.3 years for the non-enrollees (p = 0.003). The mean ERAS pathway medication adherence for enrollees was 82.1% versus 76.8% for those not enrolled (p = 0.005). The mean LOS and SSI rates for those enrolled versus not enrolled in the phone application was 4.4 days versus 6.4 days (p = 0.006) and 3.4% versus 11.3% (p = 0.019), respectively. There was no significant difference in readmission rates between enrollees and non-enrollees (15% versus 10.6%, p = 0.345). The mean total cost of patients enrolled was $11,560; total cost of those not enrolled was $13,946 (p = 0.024).

Conclusions

Use of an interactive phone application is associated with improved medication ERAS adherence along with significant reduction in length of stay and SSI rates without increasing total cost.

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Correspondence to Joanne Favuzza.

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Schlund, D., Poirier, J., Bhama, A.R. et al. Value of an interactive phone application in an established enhanced recovery program. Int J Colorectal Dis 35, 1045–1048 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00384-020-03563-5

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Keywords

  • Interactive phone application
  • Enhanced recovery pathway