Patients whose hospital care providers used mobile secure text messaging as a means of communication had shorter lengths of stay compared to patients whose providers used the standard paging system to communicate, according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania recently published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
While other studies have suggested such technology would improve communication, the new study is among the first to assess its impact on patient outcomes. The study’s lead author, Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS, said:
Our findings suggest that mobile secure text messaging may help to improve communication among providers leading to more efficient care coordination and allowing patients to leave the hospital sooner.
C. William Hanson, MD, chief medical information officer at Penn Medicine and a co-author on the study, adds:
Mobile technology is transforming the way medical providers access patient information, communicate and coordinate care, as well as the way that patients acquire medical information and manage their health.
Between mobile apps, Apple’s HealthKit, and secure text messaging, the smartphone is quickly becoming one of the most versatile tools a provider can use to improve patient outcomes.