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Quality and Safety in the Literature: May 2022
  1. Albert Emery1,
  2. Nathan Houchens1,2,
  3. Ashwin Gupta1,2
  1. 1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  2. 2 Medicine Service, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Albert Emery, Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; alemery{at}

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Healthcare quality and safety span multiple topics across the spectrum of academic and clinical disciplines. Keeping abreast of the rapidly growing body of work can be challenging. In this series, we provide succinct summaries of selected relevant studies published in the last several months. Some articles will focus on a particular theme, whereas others will highlight unique publications from high-impact medical journals.

Key points

  • Use of an automated text messaging service for home monitoring of symptoms results in decreased 30-day all-cause mortality in outpatients diagnosed with COVID-19. Ann Intern Med. 16 November 2021.

  • Inpatients treated by physicians working part-time have increased 30-day mortality when compared with patients treated by physicians working full-time. JAMA Intern Med. 13 September 2021.

  • Patients undergoing non-elective surgery who participate in a remote automated monitoring programme after hospital discharge have no difference in time alive at home within 31 days compared with usual care, but do experience greater pain relief and have more medication errors discovered and corrected. BMJ. 30 September 2021.

Comparative effectiveness of an automated text messaging service for monitoring COVID-19 at home

Ann Intern Med, 16 November 2021

As cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) have risen dramatically over the course of the pandemic, global interest in utilisation of telemedicine services has increased.1 2 In an effort to avoid exposure to infected persons in healthcare settings, the total number of virtual health encounters has risen sharply in both primary care and subspecialty clinics.3 4 Even prior to the onset of the pandemic, telemedicine services were used in a myriad of specialties, ranging from cardiothoracic surgery to psychiatry to palliative care as a means of monitoring symptoms and collecting patient data to detect and address early patient deterioration and prevent excess morbidity and mortality.5–7

Early in the pandemic, clinicians and researchers quickly noted the opportunities for telemedicine to prevent such morbidity and mortality …

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  • Twitter @nate_houchens, @ashwin_b_gupta

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests NH and AG are employed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.