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Wearables Explored for Managing Postop Peds Patients After Discharge

“Reassuring” or “concerning” wearable data could influence clinician decision-making on recommendation for an emergency department visit

THURSDAY, Dec. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Data from wearables, coupled with a parent’s reports, could influence clinician decision-making about follow-up care for pediatric surgical patients following discharge, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.

Samuel C. Linton, from the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, and colleagues assessed whether wearable data availability, during simulated telephone calls about postoperative, postdischarge pediatric patients, affected the decision-making of 24 pediatric surgery clinicians (i.e., pediatric surgeons, general surgery residents, and inpatient and outpatient advanced practice nurses). The clinicians were presented with three telephone call scenarios: Scenarios A and C have patients with worrisome symptoms, and scenario B has a patient with nonworrisome symptoms. Each scenario was presented to clinicians without any wearable data, with “concerning” wearable data, and with “reassuring” wearable data. Clinicians used a scale of 1 to 10 to rate the increasing likelihood of recommending an emergency department visit for each version of the three scenarios.

The researchers found that when presented with “reassuring” wearable data, clinicians’ likelihood of recommending an emergency department visit decreased from a median score of 6 to 1 for scenario A and from 9 to 3 for scenario C. However, when presented with “concerning” wearable data, the median score for recommending an emergency department visit increased from 1 to 6 for scenario B.

“This study showed that wearable data affect clinicians’ decision making and may be useful in triaging postoperative, postdischarge pediatric patients,” the authors write.

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