Wireless technology to track surgical patients after discharge: A pilot study

Aaron J. Dawes, Sarah Reardon, Victor L. Chen, William Kaiser, Marcia M. Russell, Clifford Y. Ko, Anne Y. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Failure to detect changes in patients-postoperative health status increases the risk of adverse outcomes, including complications and readmission. We sought to design and implement a realtime surveillance system for postoperative colorectal surgery patients using wireless health technology. Participants were assigned a preprogrammed tablet computer during their inpatient hospitalization, and asked to complete a daily survey regarding their postoperative health status until their first clinic visit. Surveys were transmitted wirelessly to a secure database for review. As a pilot study, we report on our first 20 consecutively enrolled patients, monitored for 265 patient days. Overall compliance was 63 per cent (data available for 166 of the 265 days), but varied by patient from 26 to 100 per cent. We were able to reliably collect basic data on postoperative health status as well as patientreported outcomes not previously captured by standard assessment techniques. Qualitative data suggest that the experience strengthened patients-relationship with their surgeon and aided in their recovery. Postoperative remote monitoring is feasible, and provides more detailed and complete information to the clinical team. Wireless health technology represents an opportunity to close the information gap between discharge and first clinic visit, and, eventually, to improve patient-provider communication, increase patient satisfaction, and prevent unnecessary readmissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1066
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015


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