Pre-Visit Digital Messaging Improves Patient-Reported Outcome Measure Participation Prior to the Orthopaedic Ambulatory Visit: Results from a Double-Blinded, Prospective, Randomized Controlled Trial

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The Journal of bone and joint surgery


BACKGROUND: Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are metrics that assess physical health, mental health, pain, and satisfaction. However, PROM collection in orthopaedic clinics presents numerous logistical and financial challenges. These challenges are reduced when PROMs are completed before clinic encounters, relieving the workflow constraints of in-office PROM collection. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of 3 different methods with respect to pre-visit electronic PROM completion.

METHODS: Consecutive adult orthopaedic patients with no previous PROM participation were enrolled. Patients who registered with the electronic medical record (EMR) patient portal (MyChart) and with active e-mail addresses were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 arms: control (no pre-visit messages), MyChart (EMR patient portal pre-visit messages), and e-mail (e-mail pre-visit messages). The primary outcome measure was pre-visit PROM completion rates in orthopaedic patients, and the secondary outcome measures were time to pre-visit PROM form completion and PROM form completion rates according to patient demographic characteristics. By default, the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) forms were available for completion through the portal by 7 days before scheduled visits. Pre-visit messages were sent 7 days prior to the scheduled visit except in the control group, with reminders sent 3 days prior if still not completed. The patients in each arm who completed all assigned forms were labeled as having total PROM completion, and those who completed at least 1 completed form were considered as having partial PROM completion. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess differences in PROM completion rates between study arms. Kruskal-Wallis tests were performed to compare the date of the form completion.

RESULTS: A total of 291 patients were included. The pre-visit total completion rates for assigned PROMs were higher in the MyChart arm (49% of 97 patients; p = 0.005) and the e-mail arm (52% of 100 patients; p = 0.002) in comparison with the control arm (30% of 94 patients). Male patients were more likely than female patients to have partial pre-visit PROM completion (odds ratio [OR], 1.74; p = 0.03), and Caucasian patients were more likely to have partial pre-visit PROM completion than African American patients (OR, 2.28; p = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Orthopaedic patients receiving either e-mail or patient portal messages demonstrated higher pre-visit PROM completion rates. Pre-visit messaging appears to be a useful strategy for increasing PROM completion rates and limiting the clinical workflow strain imposed by in-clinic PROM administration.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Humans; Male; Female; Orthopedics; Prospective Studies; Patient Reported Outcome Measures; Pain; Electronic Health Records

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