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Submitted: 10 December 2012 Modified: 26 April 2013
HERDIN Record #: R04A-DLSHSI-12121011030313

The effectiveness of the mobile-phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) as a strategy to improve compliance in orthopaedic health care appointment

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Background: Failure to comply with outpatient medical appointments is a perennial problem, affecting costs, causing scheduling conflicts, and interrupting continuity of care. The use of Short Messaging Service (SMS) appointment reminders potentially reduces broken appointments and so improves the efficiency of outpatient health care delivery.

Objective: To determine the effect of appointment reminders sent through the patients' mobile telephones via Short Message Service (SMS) text messages on attendance at an Orthopaedic outpatient clinic.

Design: Randomized Controlled Trial.

Setting: De La Salle University Medical Center (DLSUMC), Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines.

Participants: Patients (or their caregivers) who required follow-up at the clinics between 48 hours and 1 month from the recruitment date.

Intervention: Consisted of text messaging 48 hours prior to scheduled appointments. Control group did not receive any intervention.

Outcome measures: Attendance rates.

Results: During the period of the study from April to August 2010, a total of 420 patients were included for randomization. A total of 222 patients were randomized into the control group while a total of 198 patients were randomized into the intervention group. The attendance rates of the control and the intervention group were 47.30% and 68.18% (p<0.001), respectively. Analysis was done using the chi-square test and revealed that the attendance rate of the intervention group was significantly higher compared with that of the control group (relative risks 1.442, 95% confidence interval 1.218 to 1.1.706, p<0.001). Absolute follow up rate increase was noted to be 20.88% (95% CI 11.65%-30.11%) with NNT equal to 5 (95% CI 3-9).

Conclusions: The use of SMS reminders for Orthopaedic outpatient appointments was effective in improving patient attendance.

Objectives

To determine the effect of appointment reminders sent through the patients' mobile telephones via Short Message Service (SMS) text messages on attendance at an Orthopaedic outpatient clinic.

LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Rm. 6301, 3/F De La Salle Angelo King Medical Research Center 2010-A.9 Fulltext Print Format
2. (2003, November 30). . Retrieved from: http://www.advanced-messaging.com/news.html
3. (). List of mobile network operators of the Asia Pacific region.. Wikipedia. . Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mobile_network_operators_of_the_Asia_Pacific_Region_#Philippines.

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