AHRQ Study Examines Effectiveness of Automated Approaches for Receiving Patient Feedback
A new AHRQ-supported study suggests that many patients who do not improve as expected after a medical appointment don’t take further action to address unresolved problems. The study found that systematic follow-up, including a live follow-up call and those made by an interactive voice response system, can potentially identify patients needing care and connect them to it. The study and abstract, titled “Exploration of an Automated Approach for Receiving Patient Feedback After Outpatient Acute Care Visits,” appeared online March 8 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Researchers evaluated patients seen in outpatient settings for diagnosis and treatment of a new health problem. The patients received a live follow-up call one week after their visit and a call from an interactive voice response system three weeks after their visit to determine their satisfaction with the diagnosis and treatment provided. The study showed that automated telephone feedback systems can feasibly be used to follow up on patient outcomes in outpatient settings. Further research on the effectiveness of this technology is needed to determine the role of automated telephone feedback systems in ambulatory care settings.
J Gen Intern Med. 2014 Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Exploration of an Automated Approach for Receiving Patient Feedback After Outpatient Acute Care Visits.
Berner ES1, Ray MN, Panjamapirom A, Maisiak RS, Willig JH, English TM, Krawitz M, Nevin CR, Houser S, Cohen MP, Schiff GD.
To improve and learn from patient outcomes, particularly under new care models such as Accountable Care Organizations and Patient-Centered Medical Homes, requires establishing systems for follow-up and feedback.
To provide post-visit feedback to physicians on patient outcomes following acute care visits.
A three-phase cross-sectional study [live follow-up call three weeks after acute care visits (baseline), one week post-visit live call, and one week post-visit interactive voice response system (IVRS) call] with three patient cohorts was conducted. A family medicine clinic and an HIV clinic participated in all three phases, and a cerebral palsy clinic participated in the first two phases. Patients answered questions about symptom improvement, medication problems, and interactions with the healthcare system.
A total of 616 patients were included: 142 from Phase 1, 352 from Phase 2 and 122 from Phase 3.
Primary outcomes included: problem resolution, provider satisfaction with the system, and comparison of IVRS with live calls made by research staff.
During both live follow-up phases, at least 96 % of patients who were reached completed the call compared to only 48 % for the IVRS phase. At baseline, 98 of 113 (88 %) patients reported improvement, as well as 167 of 196 (85 %) in the live one-week follow-up. In the one-week IVRS phase, 25 of 39 (64 %) reported improvement. In all phases, the majority of patients in both the improved and unimproved groups had not contacted their provider or another provider. While 63 % of providers stated they wanted to receive patient feedback, they varied in the extent to which they used the feedback reports.
Many patients who do not improve as expected do not take action to further address unresolved problems. Systematic follow-up/feedback mechanisms can potentially identify and connect such patients to needed care.
- [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]