Is the Implementation of an Interprofessional Communication Smart Phone Application Associated With Improved Survival Among Critically Ill Surgical Patients?



      Patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) have high rates of mortality and morbidity. Improved communication between providers within ICUs may reduce morbidity. The goal of this study is to leverage a natural experiment of the temporally staggered implementation of a smart phone application for interprofessional communication to quantify the association with postoperative mortality and morbidity among critically ill surgical patients.


      We conducted an observational case-control study and utilized a difference-in-difference model to determine the impact of temporally staggered implementation of an interprofessional communication smart phone application on mortality, postoperative hyperglycemia, malnutrition, venous thromboembolism (VTE), and surgical site infections. Our study included patients who underwent surgical procedures and were admitted to the ICU at one of three hospitals (one academic medical center, hospital A, and two community hospitals, hospitals B and C) in a single health system between March 2018 and April 2021.


      Our cohort consisted of 1457 patients, of which 1174 were hospitalized at hospital A and 283 at hospitals B and C. In the full cohort, 80 (5.6%) patients died during ICU admission. Difference-in-difference analysis demonstrated a relative difference in mortality of 4.8% [1.1%-8.5%] (P = 0.04) at hospitals B and C compared to hospital A after the implementation of the application. Our model demonstrated a 2.5% difference in VTEs [1.1%-3.8%], P = 0.03. There were no significant reductions in hyperglycemia, malnutrition, or surgical site infection.


      The implementation of an interprofessional communication smart phone application is associated with reduced mortality and VTE incidence among critically ill surgical patients across three diverse hospitals.


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