Next up in the news is a look at some research into ways we can help our patients avoid post surgical infections. It’s been shown that a careful antiseptic shower prior to admission to the hospital can make a big difference in the rate of post surgical infection afterwards. The question is, how do we help people to adhere to this pre-hospital preparation and understand the risks they have if they don’t.

Texting Patients for Pre-Surgical Prep

image descriptionA study published recently in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that something as simple as a text message could be the key to helping people stick to the proper pre-surgical regimen. With nearly a half million surgical site infections occurring each year it is important for patients to participate in their own care by prepping their skin appropriately prior to hospital admission.

The study found that when you text, email or call the patients prior to arriving at the hospital, they feel like they are part of the care team and better understand the need to prepare appropriately. I have to wonder how this could be used in other settings both before and after the trip to the hospital for post surgical wound care, follow-up appointments and more.

This is solidly in the nurse’s area of expertise and I think we’ll need to have some good nursing research to accompany this study to see how else these types of advanced communication tools can be used to positively influence patient outcomes.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Instant Voice Helps Intubated Patients Talk to Nurses and Episode 307.

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