Pediatric Research in Emergency Therapeutics (PRETx) program, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Population Health Sciences, The Research Institute, SickKids, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
To determine whether the Internet could be used to facilitate personal delivery of culture results to care givers after patient discharge from the pediatric emergency department.
We recruited families of children who had cultures taken and were discharged home from our tertiary pediatric emergency department. Parents were given a unique ID and password to retrieve information on culture results from the study web-site. Results were posted and an e-mail was sent to the family. Access pattern to the web-site was recorded, and follow-up calls at 5 and 10 days after posting were made.
A total of 527 families were approached; 224 were excluded. Of 303 cultures available, 24 (8%) were positive and 5 (2%) were considered to be contaminants. 186 (61%) parents accessed the Internet-system after mean 94 hours (range 1 minute to 611 hours) after posting. Of the 243 (80%) families reached for follow-up, 66 (27%) "had no time" to enter the website.
This web-based follow-up system is valuable for negative cultures but access by parents is delayed for positive cultures. Future effort to increase awareness regarding importance of obtaining culture results is needed.