Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research (2019-12-01)

Modern instant messaging platform for postoperative follow-up of patients after total joint arthroplasty may reduce re-admission rate

  • Qing-Yuan Zheng,
  • Lei Geng,
  • Ming Ni,
  • Jing-Yang Sun,
  • Peng Ren,
  • Quan-Bo Ji,
  • Jun-Cheng Li,
  • Guo-Qiang Zhang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 1
pp. 1 – 9


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Abstract Background Follow-up after artificial joint replacement greatly helps achieve surgical outcomes. Mobile internet technology and mobile terminal equipment may increase the effectiveness of artificial joint replacement. However, only a few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of this technology. We aimed to analyze the reasons and outcomes of patients who used the instant messaging platform after undergoing artificial joint replacement. Methods Among the 548 cases of arthroplasty (250 hips, 298 knees) performed between December 2015 and June 2018 in the Department of Joint Surgery of our institution; 358 (164 hip joints, 194 knee joints) participated in instant messaging platform consultation, whereas the remaining 190 (86 hip joints, 104 knee joints) participated in traditional telephone consultation, as a control group. Follow-up time was from December 2015 to August 2018 (follow-up period was 2–32 months). Data on age, sex, type of surgery, date of surgery, date of discharge, and length of hospital stay were collected from electronic medical records. Results We analyzed the consultation contents of 358 patients who participated in instant messaging platform consultation. Counseling was mainly related to pain (13.6%), appointment review (12.4%), activity problems (10.5%), and incision problems (8.9%). Most problems were resolved through online guidance, with 8.4% of patients requiring only outpatient treatment and 2.5% of patients requiring rehospitalization. A total of 190 patients were followed up through traditional telephone consultation; 6.8% of patients required outpatient department treatment and 7.4% were eventually re-admitted. Conclusion The instant messaging platform consultation service effectively informs patients of potential postoperative problems and helps resolve them. It allows early detection and management of postoperative adverse events, including problems related to medication, wound, and activity, thereby effectively reducing readmission rate.