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Dr. Lauren TheissResident Lauren Theiss, M.D., published “Disparities in Perioperative Use of Patient Engagement Technologies- Not All Use is Equal” in the Annals of Surgery.

The aim of the study was to determine the association of patient-level characteristics on the use of a patient engagement technology during the perioperative period. Patient engagement technologies are app or web-based platforms that help guide patients through the surgical journey.

As patient engagement technologies are increasingly used, it remains unclear who uses, and does not use, these technologies. So, the team of researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients undergoing elective colorectal surgery who enrolled in a patient engagement technology at UAB.

Ultimately, the study suggests that patient use of a patient engagement technology around surgery differs significantly by patient sex, race/ethnicity, and insurance status. Specifically, male patients, patients who are not privately insured, and Black patients were less likely to activate and use the technology.

“Our findings have important implications for surgeons and patients everywhere,” said Theiss. “While novel technologies can be useful to patients around the time of surgery, they are not meeting the needs of all patients. It is important to remember this when implementing new interventions to improve surgical outcomes.”

Authors include:

To read more about study methods, click here.