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J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev ; 5(6)2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1285509


INTRODUCTION: We evaluated the use of text messages to communicate information to patients whose surgeries were postponed because of the COVID-19 restriction on elective surgeries. Our hypothesis was that text messaging would be an effective way to convey updates. METHODS: In this observational study, 295 patients received text messaging alerts. Eligibility included patients who had their surgery postponed and had a cell phone that received text messages. Engagement rates were determined using embedded smart links. Patient survey responses were collected. RESULTS: A total of 3,032 texts were delivered. Engagement rates averaged 90%. Survey responses (n = 111) demonstrated that 98.2% of patients liked the text messages and 95.5% said that they felt more connected to their care team; 91.9% of patients agreed that the text updates helped them avoid calling the office. Patients with higher pain levels reported more frustration with their surgery delay (5.3 versus 2.8 on 1 to 10 scale, P value < 0.01). More frustrated patients wished they received more text messages (24.4% versus 4.6%, P value = 0.04) and found the content less helpful (8.2 versus 9.2 on 1 to 10 scale, P value = 0.01). CONCLUSION: Text messaging updates are an efficient way to communicate with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 , Communication , Practice Management, Medical/organization & administration , Professional-Patient Relations , Text Messaging , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time-to-Treatment