Smartphone and web-based independent consultation and feedback for joint replacement surgeries: a randomized control trial protocol.

BACKGROUND Cost control and usage regulation of medical materials (MMs) are the practical issues that the government pays close attention to. Although it is well established that there is great potential to mobilize doctors and patients in participating MMs-related clinical decisions, few interventions adopt effective measures against specific behavioral deficiencies. This study aims at developing and validating an independent consultation and feedback system (ICFS) for optimizing clinical decisions on the use of MMs for inpatients needing joint replacement surgeries. METHODS Development of the research protocol is based on a problem or deficiency list derived on a trans-theoretical framework which incorporates including mainly soft systems-thinking, information asymmetry, crisis-coping, dual delegation and planned behavior. The intervention consists of two main components targeting at patients and doctors respectively. Each of the intervention ingredients is designed to tackle the doctor and patient-side problems with MMs using in joint replacement surgeries. The intervention arm receives 18 months' ICFS intervention program on the basis of the routine medical services; while the control arm, only the routine medical services. Implementation of the intervention is supported by an online platform established and maintained by the Quality Assurance Center for Medical Care in Anhui Province, a smartphone-based application program (APP) and a web-based clinical support system. DISCUSSION The implementation of this study is expected to significantly reduce the deficiencies and moral hazards in decision-making of MMs using through the output of economic, efficient, sustainable and easy-to-promote cooperative intervention programs, thus greatly reducing medical costs and standardizing medical behaviors. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER ISRCTN10152297.
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