Implementation of a mobile app for trauma education: Results from a multicenter study

Benjamin R. Childs, Mary A. Breslin, Mai P. Nguyen, Natasha M. Simske, Paul S. Whiting, Aswinkumar Vasireddy, Heather A. Vallier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background In an era of shared decision making, patient expectations for education have increased. Ideal resources would offer accurate information, digital delivery and interaction. Mobile applications have potential to fulfill these requirements. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate adoption of a patient education application (app: at multiple sites with disparate locations and varied populations. Methods A trauma patient education application was developed at one trauma center and subsequently released at three new trauma centers. The app contains information regarding treatment and recovery and was customized with provider information for each institution. Each center was provided with promotional materials, and each had strategies to inform providers and patients about the app. Data regarding utilization was collected. Patients were surveyed about usage and recommendations. Results Over the 16-month study period, the app was downloaded 844 times (70%) in the metropolitan regions of the study centers. The three new centers had 380, 89 and 31 downloads, while the original center had 93 downloads. 36% of sessions were greater than 2 min, while 41% were less than a few seconds. The percentage of those surveyed who used the app ranged from 14.3% to 44.0% for a weighted average of 36.8% of those having used the app. The mean patient willingness to recommend the app was 3.3 on a 5-point Likert scale. However, the distribution was bimodal: 60% of patients rated the app 4 or 5, while 32% rated it 1 or 2. Discussion The adoption of a trauma patient education app was successful at four centers with disparate patient populations. The majority of patients were likely to recommend the app. Variations in implementation strategies resulted in different rates of download. Integration of the app into patient education by providers is associated with more downloads. Level of evidence Level III care management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000452
JournalTrauma Surgery and Acute Care Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 3 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


  • education, medical
  • multiple trauma
  • outcome assessment, health care


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