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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


HERRERA-ESPINEIRA, Carmen et al. Effect of a telephone care program after hospital discharge from a trauma surgery unit. Gac Sanit [online]. 2011, vol.25, n.2, pp.133-138. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To determine the impact of a 1-month telephone care program after hospital discharge from a trauma surgery unit on health services utilization and patient anxiety and to perform a budgetary analysis. Methods: We carried out an experimental study in 604 patients who formed an experimental and a control group. The experimental group was offered telephone care to resolve doubts during the first month after discharge. After this period, data were collected from both groups on the following outcome variables: visits to the emergency department or family physician, hospital readmissions, and the results of an anxiety test. Data analyses included logistic and linear multivariate analyses and calculation of the budgetary impact of the program on the hospital, the Andalusian Health Service, and the National Health System. Results: A total of 73 telephone consultations were conducted with 60 patients, almost half for doubts about the therapeutic regimen. For the outcome variable "visit to emergency department", the group without telephone care had an odds ratio of 1.8 in the multivariate analysis adjusted for the other independent variables: days of hospital stay, patient anxiety and comprehension of discharge indications. No differences between groups were found in the remaining outcome variables. The budgetary analysis demonstrated the possibility of implementing the program at a cost of 1.65 € per patient. Conclusions: This program proved effective in reducing visits to the emergency department at a low cost.

Keywords : Hospital-based home care services; Costs and cost analysis; Surgical traumatology; Patient discharge; Telephone.

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