Automated texting reduces readmissions, emergency department visits by 41%

A recent study found using an automated texting program can reduce readmissions and emergency department visits by 41 percent.

The study, published in JAMA Network Open, used the program with 430 patients between January and August of 2021. Patients from two academic primary care practices in Philadelphia were discharged after receiving acute care services. Patients received automated check-in messages for a 30-day schedule after discharge. The study found that automated messages led to a 41 percent decrease in use of acute care within 30 days of discharge.

"This outcome was driven largely by a 55 percent decrease in the odds of 30-day readmission," Eric Bressman, MD, an internist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and the study's co-authors wrote in the report. "The mechanism through which this compound program prevents use of acute care is likely complex, but we theorize that more frequent check-ins and a lower friction medium for patient-initiated outreach led to earlier identification of needs and a greater likelihood that issues will be escalated to and handled by the primary care practice than another setting."

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