Appl Clin Inform 2014; 05(04): 1005-1014
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2014-07-CR-0059
Case Report
Schattauer GmbH

Case Report: Patient Portal versus Telephone Recruitment for a Surgical Research Study

R.B. Baucom
1  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Surgery
,
J. Ousley
2  Meharry Medical College, School of Medicine
,
B.K. Poulose
1  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Surgery
,
S.T. Rosenbloom
3  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Biomedical Informatics
4  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Internal Medicine
5  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics
,
G. P. Jackson
1  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Surgery
3  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Biomedical Informatics
5  Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Correspondence to:

Rebeccah B. Baucom, MD
Department of Surgery
D-5203 MCN
1161 Medical Center Dr.
Nashville, TN 37232
Phone: (615) 343–5613   
Fax: (615) 343–9485   

Publication History

received: 11 September 2014

accepted: 29 November 2014

Publication Date:
19 December 2017 (online)

 

Summary

Background: Patient portal adoption has rapidly increased over the last decade. Most patient portal research has been done in primary care or medical specialties, and few studies have examined their use in surgical patients or for recruiting research subjects. No known studies have compared portal messaging with other approaches of recruitment.

Objectives: This case report describes our experience with patient portal versus telephone recruitment for a study involving long-term follow up of surgical patients.

Methods: Participants were recruited for a study of recurrence after ventral hernia repair through telephone calls and patient portal messaging based on registration status with the portal. Potential subjects who did not have a portal account or whose portal messages were returned after 5 days were called. The proportion of participants enrolled with each method was determined and demographics of eligible patients, portal users, and participants were compared.

Results: 1359 patients were eligible for the hernia study, and enrollment was 35% (n=465). Most participants were recruited by telephone (84%, n=391); 16% (n=74) were recruited through portal messaging. Forty-four percent of eligible participants had a registered portal account, and 14% of users responded to the recruitment message. Portal users were younger than non-users (55 vs. 58 years, p<0.001); participants recruited through the portal versus telephone were also younger (54 vs. 59 years, p=0.001). Differences in the sex and racial distributions between users and non-users and between portal and telephone recruits were not significant.

Conclusions: Portal versus telephone recruitment for a surgical research study demonstrated modest portal recruitment rates and similar demographics between recruitment methods. Published studies of portal-only recruitment in primary care or medical-specialty patient populations have demonstrated higher enrollment rates, but this case study demonstrates that portal recruitment for research studies in the surgical population is feasible, and it offers convenience to patients and researchers.

Citation: Baucom RB, Ousley J, Poulose BK, Rosenbloom ST, Jackson GP. Case report: Patient portal versus telephone recruitment for a surgical research study. Appl Clin Inf 2014; 5: 1005–1014

http://dx.doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2014-07-CR-0059


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Conflicts of Interest

Dr. Poulose has received funding for unrelated research from Bard-Davol and Gore. Part of Dr. Jackson’s salary is supported by funding provided to Vanderbilt University by West Health for a research collaboration involving West Heath, West Corporation, and Vanderbilt University. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interest.


Correspondence to:

Rebeccah B. Baucom, MD
Department of Surgery
D-5203 MCN
1161 Medical Center Dr.
Nashville, TN 37232
Phone: (615) 343–5613   
Fax: (615) 343–9485