CMA (Major Outpatient Surgery) is the application of different surgical, anaesthetic and nursing techniques that allow patients to be discharged from hospital shortly after certain operations which had previously required a hospital stay. The biggest problem in adding new processes to CMA is the difficulty of carrying out post-operative control of the patient in his home.
The CMA Unit of the Dr. Peset Hospital in Valencia has been using a computer programme that provides all the information necessary for operations and patient following since the year 2000. Post-operative control is normally performed by a telephone questionnaire with a certain number of points for each question. The subjective element in patients’ answers often leads to unnecessary visits to hospital emergency units. In order to include only objective data in post-operative control, TSB developed and implemented a system based on mobile telephones, which enables patients to send relevant photographs to the unit. This process, in combination with computerised information and a portable pulsioxymeter, allows staff in the unit to make objective evaluations of the patients’ evolution. A preliminary study has shown that this method eliminates a great number of visits to the hospital’s emergency service, with consequent savings in running costs.
ITACA is at present cooperating with the Dr. Peset Hospital within the framework of a FIS project, with the aim of widening the study and evaluating the m-Health system by which patients can send photos to the unit to provide statistically significant data to support decision making. It is expected that the method will be extended to other CMA units within the Spanish health system. The evaluation process is using a pilot group of patients and has been divided into three different areas: clinical evaluation, patient satisfaction and costs. Results will be compared to those of a control group of patients using traditional methods.