J Clin Gastroenterol 2019 Apr 15. Epub 2019 Apr 15.
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy.
Goals: To evaluate the effect of an automated time-released colonoscopy reminder program on preparation quality and the rates of canceled procedures.
Background: Patients missing colonoscopy appointments or arriving with inadequate bowel preparations result in delays in care and increase in health care costs.
Study: We initiated a quality improvement program which included switching to a split-dose preparation and delivering preparation instructions and appointment reminders via text messages and emails sent with an automated time-released HIPAA-compliant software platform. All patients scheduled for a colonoscopy from March through June 2017 were enrolled unless mobile phone, email, or preparation type data was missing (nonintervention cohort). Primary outcome metrics were the rate of adequate bowel preparation and the rate of canceled procedures. Outcomes of the intervention group were compared with outcomes from colonoscopies performed from March through June 2016 (baseline cohort).
Results: There were 1497 patients (40.7% male, mean age 56.4 y) enrolled in the automated reminder program. Compared with the baseline cohort, the rate of adequate bowel preparation increased from 88.5% to 96.2% (P<0.0001). The rate of canceled procedures decreased from 6.1% to 4.3% (P=0.02). On multivariable analysis, the automated reminder program improved adequate preparation quality 2.85-fold (95% confidence interval, 2.03-3.99; P<0.0001). Sensitivity analysis comparing the intervention to nonintervention cohorts showed that improvement in preparation quality was attributable to the automated reminder program.
Conclusions: Implementation of automated time-released colonoscopy preparation reminders via text messages and emails improved patient preparedness for colonoscopy, with significantly improved bowel preparation quality and fewer canceled procedures.