Assessment of an mHealth Initiative to Improve Patient Retention

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Author(s): do Nascimento N, Cannon M, Perales N, Chariyeva Z

Year: 2014

Assessment of an mHealth Initiative to Improve Patient Retention Abstract:

Effective treatment of chronic conditions such as HIV requires clients to return periodically to a treatment center for resupply of medications as well as for check-ups and laboratory tests. Failure to return at scheduled times compromises treatment effectiveness and in the case of HIV, can even lead to antiretroviral treatment (ART) resistance, lower retention in treatment, and increased mortality among patients. This report provides findings from a Mozambique pilot using mobile telephones to follow up on patients who have defaulted on their ART or have missed appointments or lab test dates. The pilot involved sending confidential messages through a Web-based application called CommCare directly to community health workers (activistas) to inform them of a defaulted patient's name, sex, location and contact information, confidant (a person the activista can speak to if the patient is not there), reason for the search and number of days since the patient defaulted (i.e., missed an appointment, missed medication pick-up, or is otherwise non-adherent and in need of a visit to the facility).