Utilization of Text Messages to Supplement Rounding Communication: a Randomized Feasibility Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Fragmented communication with patients and families during hospitalizations often leaves patients confused about the daily plan. OBJECTIVE: To pilot a supplemental text message-based platform for improving bidirectional communication about the clinical plan and patients' goals. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial PARTICIPANTS: Thirty adult patients, thirty caregivers of pediatric patients, and the interns caring for them on inpatient general medicine and pediatric services. INTERVENTIONS: Patients and caregivers were texted or emailed daily to report their personal goal and assess their understanding of the team's clinical plan. Interns were texted daily to report the team's clinical plan and to assess their understanding of the patient's personal goal. MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcomes were feasibility, defined as survey response rates, and acceptability. Secondary outcomes were patient comprehension of the clinical plan, trainee comprehension of the patient's goal, patient-centered communication scores, and educational satisfaction scores. KEY RESULTS: Thirty adult patients, thirty caregivers of pediatric patients, fourteen general medicine interns, and six general pediatric interns enrolled. Intervention feasibility was met, with survey response rates of 80% for general medicine trainees, 67% for general pediatric trainees, 58% for adult patients, and 70% for caregivers. Patients and caregivers in the intervention arm had higher understanding of medication changes (76% vs 50%, p = 0.02) and new consultations (90% vs 61%, p = 0.002). Interns had higher understanding of patients' goals in the intervention arm (93% vs 40%, p < 0.001), particularly for adult patients (97% vs 17%, p < 0.001). Caregivers rated communication higher regarding information to help make decisions (p = 0.04). Interviews demonstrated high acceptability. CONCLUSIONS: Our text message-based communication intervention was feasible and acceptable to all involved participants, with preliminary signals of efficacy. The intervention may contribute to improved understanding of medication changes and new consultations, as well as help in making decisions. A large, randomized efficacy trial of this intervention is warranted. Graphical abstract.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wesevich, A; Key-Solle, M; Kandakatla, A; Feeney, C; Pollak, KI; LeBlanc, TW

Published Date

  • February 25, 2022

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 35212877

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1525-1497

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11606-021-07285-4


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States