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Assessment of communication technology and post-operative telephone surveillance during global urology mission.

Assessment of communication technology and post-operative telephone surveillance during global urology mission.

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Assessment of communication technology and post-operative telephone surveillance during global urology mission.

BMC Res Notes. 2018 Feb 21;11(1):149

Authors: Rapp DE, Colhoun A, Morin J, Bradford TJ

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Compliance with post-operative follow-up in the context of international surgical trips is often poor. The etiology of this problem is multifactorial and includes lack of local physician involvement, transportation costs, and work responsibilities. We aimed to better understand availability of communication technologies within Belize and use this information to improve follow-up after visiting surgical trips to a public hospital in Belize City. Accordingly, a 6-item questionnaire assessing access to communication technologies was completed by all patients undergoing evaluation by a visiting surgical team in 2014. Based on this data, a pilot program for patients undergoing surgery was instituted for subsequent missions (2015-2016) that included a 6-week post-operative telephone interview with a visiting physician located in the United States.
RESULTS: Fifty-four (n = 54) patients were assessed via survey with 89% responding that they had a mobile phone. Patients reported less access to home internet (59%), local internet (52%), and email (48%). Of 35 surgical patients undergoing surgery during 2 subsequent surgical trips, 18 (51%) were compliant with telephone interview at 6-week follow-up. Issues were identified in 3 (17%) patients that allowed for physician assistance. The cost per patient interview was $10 USD.

PMID: 29467031 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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