Objective: Follow-up of pediatric patients after an emergency department (ED) visit is important for monitoring changes in patient health and informing patients of test results conducted during the visit. The telephone has been the standard method of communication, but contact rates are poor. We conducted a survey to assess pediatric caregiver attitudes toward and access to alternate electronic communication modalities after a pediatric ED encounter. Subjects and Methods: Participants (n=102) were recruited from an urban community ED and completed a 35-item questionnaire in this cross-sectional study. Results: The majority of pediatric caregivers have Internet access in their home (72%), although less than half check e-mail daily (46%). A larger percentage owns a cell phone (90%) and checks text messages daily (87%). The majority agree that more doctors should communicate by e-mail (70%), and nearly half (45%) would like to receive test results by text message. Conclusions: Caregivers of children have access to the Internet and mobile phone technologies, and many would be interested in communicating with healthcare providers following an ED visit. Cell phone and text-messaging technologies appear to be more available than e-mail and may serve as an underutilized contact method. A combination of modalities directed by caregiver preferences may improve ED follow-up contact rates.
- home health monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management