Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Retaining homeless veterans in outpatient care: a pilot study of mobile phone text message appointment reminders.

McInnes DK, Petrakis BA, Gifford AL, Rao SR, Houston TK, Asch SM, O'Toole TP. Retaining homeless veterans in outpatient care: a pilot study of mobile phone text message appointment reminders. American journal of public health. 2014 Sep 1; 104 Suppl 4:S588-94.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: We examined the feasibility of using mobile phone text messaging with homeless veterans to increase their engagement in care and reduce appointment no-shows. METHODS: We sent 2 text message reminders to participants (n = 20) before each of their outpatient appointments at an urban Veterans Affairs medical center. Evaluation included pre- and postsurvey questionnaires, open-ended questions, and review of medical records. We estimated costs and savings of large-scale implementation. RESULTS: Participants were satisfied with the text-messaging intervention, had very few technical difficulties, and were interested in continuing. Patient-cancelled visits and no-shows trended downward from 53 to 37 and from 31 to 25, respectively. Participants also experienced a statistically significant reduction in emergency department visits, from 15 to 5 (difference of 10; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.2, 17.8; P = .01), and a borderline significant reduction in hospitalizations, from 3 to 0 (difference of 3; 95% CI = -0.4, 6.4; P = .08). CONCLUSIONS: Text message reminders are a feasible means of reaching homeless veterans, and users consider it acceptable and useful. Implementation may reduce missed visits and emergency department use, and thus produce substantial cost savings.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.