reminder systems


Summary: Systems used to prompt or aid the memory. The systems can be computerized reminders, color coding, telephone calls, or devices such as letters and postcards.

Top Publications

  1. Hysong S, Sawhney M, Wilson L, Sittig D, Esquivel A, Singh S, et al. Understanding the management of electronic test result notifications in the outpatient setting. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2011;11:22 pubmed publisher
    ..A multi-dimensional approach that addresses technology as well as the many non-technological factors we elicited is essential to design interventions to reduce missed test results in EHRs. ..
  2. Wakadha H, Chandir S, Were E, Rubin A, Obor D, Levine O, et al. The feasibility of using mobile-phone based SMS reminders and conditional cash transfers to improve timely immunization in rural Kenya. Vaccine. 2013;31:987-93 pubmed publisher
    ..Follow-up studies are needed that provide evidence for the effectiveness of these strategies in improving vaccine coverage and timeliness. ..
  3. Gulliford M, van Staa T, McDermott L, Dregan A, McCann G, Ashworth M, et al. Cluster randomised trial in the General Practice Research Database: 1. Electronic decision support to reduce antibiotic prescribing in primary care (eCRT study). Trials. 2011;12:115 pubmed publisher
    ..The study will also provide substantive findings in respect of electronic record-based interventions to reduce antibiotic prescribing in primary care. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN 47558792. ..
  4. Rodrigues R, Shet A, Antony J, Sidney K, Arumugam K, Krishnamurthy S, et al. Supporting adherence to antiretroviral therapy with mobile phone reminders: results from a cohort in South India. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e40723 pubmed publisher
    ..001). Mobile phone reminders may improve medication adherence in HIV infected individuals in this setting, the effect of which was found to persist for at least 6 months after cessation of the intervention. ..
  5. Labhardt N, Balo J, Ndam M, Manga E, Stoll B. Improved retention rates with low-cost interventions in hypertension and diabetes management in a rural African environment of nurse-led care: a cluster-randomised trial. Trop Med Int Health. 2011;16:1276-84 pubmed publisher
    ..The combination of a treatment contract and reminder letters in case of missed appointments was an effective measure to retain patients in care. ..
  6. Hegenscheid K, Hoffmann W, Fochler S, Domin M, Weiss S, Hartmann B, et al. Telephone counseling and attendance in a national mammography-screening program a randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med. 2011;41:421-7 pubmed publisher
    ..This study is registered at the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000645954. ..
  7. Guy R, Hocking J, Wand H, Stott S, Ali H, Kaldor J. How effective are short message service reminders at increasing clinic attendance? A meta-analysis and systematic review. Health Serv Res. 2012;47:614-32 pubmed publisher
    ..SMS reminders appear to be a simple and efficient option for health services to use to improve service delivery, as well as resulting in health benefits for the patients who receive the reminders. ..
  8. Lega I, McLaughlin H, Coroneos M, Handley Derry F, Donovan N, Lipscombe L. A physician reminder to improve postpartum diabetes screening in women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2012;95:352-7 pubmed publisher
    ..71, 95% CI 2.26-6.11). A physician based reminder system is an effective way to improve postpartum screening rates. To further increase screening rates, a multilevel approach targeting both patients and physicians is required. ..
  9. Thompson M, Mugavero M, Amico K, Cargill V, Chang L, Gross R, et al. Guidelines for improving entry into and retention in care and antiretroviral adherence for persons with HIV: evidence-based recommendations from an International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care panel. Ann Intern Med. 2012;156:817-33, W-284, W-285, W-286, W-287, W-288, W-289, W-290, W-291, W-292, W-293, W-294 pubmed publisher
    ..Recommendations for future research in all areas are also provided. ..

More Information


  1. da Costa T, Barbosa B, Gomes e Costa D, Sigulem D, de Fátima Marin H, Filho A, et al. Results of a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of a mobile SMS-based intervention on treatment adherence in HIV/AIDS-infected Brazilian women and impressions and satisfaction with respect to incoming messages. Int J Med Inform. 2012;81:257-69 pubmed publisher
  2. Hart T, Ahlers Schmidt C, Chesser A, Jones J, Williams K, Wittler R. Physician impressions of using text message technology to increase vaccination compliance. Telemed J E Health. 2011;17:427-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Further investigation is needed to determine why few physicians are willing to implement text messaging for immunization reminders. ..
  3. Lakkis N, Atfeh A, El Zein Y, Mahmassani D, Hamadeh G. The effect of two types of sms-texts on the uptake of screening mammogram: a randomized controlled trial. Prev Med. 2011;53:325-7 pubmed publisher
    ..05). There was no difference between the response rates in the two subgroups. A brief invitation SMS-text message for screening mammogram was found to be as effective as a detailed informative one. ..
  4. Hasvold P, Wootton R. Use of telephone and SMS reminders to improve attendance at hospital appointments: a systematic review. J Telemed Telecare. 2011;17:358-64 pubmed publisher
    ..41 per reminder. Although formal evidence of cost-effectiveness is lacking, the implication of the review is that all hospitals should consider using automated reminders to reduce non-attendance at appointments. ..
  5. Holt T, Thorogood M, Griffiths F. Changing clinical practice through patient specific reminders available at the time of the clinical encounter: systematic review and meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2012;27:974-84 pubmed publisher
    ..Future research should concentrate on identifying the features of reminder interventions most likely to result in the target behaviour. ..
  6. Vervloet M, van Dijk L, Santen Reestman J, van Vlijmen B, Van Wingerden P, Bouvy M, et al. SMS reminders improve adherence to oral medication in type 2 diabetes patients who are real time electronically monitored. Int J Med Inform. 2012;81:594-604 pubmed publisher
    ..RTMM with SMS reminders improves adherence of type 2 diabetes patients, especially the precision with which patients follow their prescribed regimen, and is well accepted by patients. Netherlands Trial Register NTR1882. ..
  7. Suh C, Saville A, Daley M, Glazner J, Barrow J, Stokley S, et al. Effectiveness and net cost of reminder/recall for adolescent immunizations. Pediatrics. 2012;129:e1437-45 pubmed publisher
    ..Practices conducting R/R may benefit financially if they can generate additional well-child care visits and keep supply costs low. ..
  8. Sims H, Sanghara H, Hayes D, Wandiembe S, Finch M, Jakobsen H, et al. Text message reminders of appointments: a pilot intervention at four community mental health clinics in London. Psychiatr Serv. 2012;63:161-8 pubmed publisher
    ..In England alone, a reduction of 25% to 28% in missed outpatient clinic appointments would translate to national cost savings of more than £150 million, or $245 million, per year, and likely have clinical benefits as well. ..
  9. Zurovac D, Larson B, Sudoi R, Snow R. Costs and cost-effectiveness of a mobile phone text-message reminder programmes to improve health workers' adherence to malaria guidelines in Kenya. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e52045 pubmed publisher
    ..Further research is justified to optimize delivery of the intervention and expand targets beyond children and malaria disease. ..
  10. Suffoletto B, Calabria J, Ross A, Callaway C, Yealy D. A mobile phone text message program to measure oral antibiotic use and provide feedback on adherence to patients discharged from the emergency department. Acad Emerg Med. 2012;19:949-58 pubmed publisher
    ..Future work should improve the design and deployment of SMS interventions to optimize their effect on improving adherence to medication after ED discharge. ..
  11. Tran B, Houston S. Mobile phone-based antiretroviral adherence support in Vietnam: feasibility, patient's preference, and willingness-to-pay. AIDS Behav. 2012;16:1988-92 pubmed
    ..1 %), regular information messages (21.3 %), and booking of clinic visits (16.5 %). These findings inform the design of adherence interventions using mobile phone in the Vietnamese setting. ..
  12. Stockwell M, Kharbanda E, Martinez R, Vargas C, Vawdrey D, Camargo S. Effect of a text messaging intervention on influenza vaccination in an urban, low-income pediatric and adolescent population: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012;307:1702-8 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the overall influenza vaccination rate remained low. Identifier: NCT01146912. ..
  13. Vervloet M, Linn A, van Weert J, de Bakker D, Bouvy M, van Dijk L. The effectiveness of interventions using electronic reminders to improve adherence to chronic medication: a systematic review of the literature. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2012;19:696-704 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, one high quality study using an ERD found subgroup effects. This review provides evidence for the short-term effectiveness of electronic reminders, especially SMS reminders. However, long-term effects remain unclear. ..
  14. Dokkum N, Koekenbier R, van den Broek I, van Bergen J, Brouwers E, Fennema J, et al. Keeping participants on board: increasing uptake by automated respondent reminders in an Internet-based chlamydia screening in the Netherlands. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:176 pubmed publisher
    ..The reminder letters also seemed to result in reaching more people at risk. Incorporation of automated reminders in Internet-based (Chlamydia) screening programs is strongly recommended. ..
  15. Roux P, Kouanfack C, Cohen J, Marcellin F, Boyer S, Delaporte E, et al. Adherence to antiretroviral treatment in HIV-positive patients in the Cameroon context: promoting the use of medication reminder methods. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011;57 Suppl 1:S40-3 pubmed publisher
    ..Accordingly, training and implementation research should encourage the use of medication reminder methods, such as mobile phones, to assure adherence over time and improve long-term response to ART. ..
  16. Zurovac D, Sudoi R, Akhwale W, Ndiritu M, Hamer D, Rowe A, et al. The effect of mobile phone text-message reminders on Kenyan health workers' adherence to malaria treatment guidelines: a cluster randomised trial. Lancet. 2011;378:795-803 pubmed publisher
    ..In resource-limited settings, malaria control programmes should consider use of text messaging to improve health workers' case-management practices. The Wellcome Trust. ..
  17. Heranney D, Fender M, Velten M, Baldauf J. A prospective randomized study of two reminding strategies: telephone versus mail in the screening of cervical cancer in women who did not initially respond. Acta Cytol. 2011;55:334-40 pubmed publisher
    ..We found that in our region, a mail reminder was as effective as, and less expensive than, a telephone call; moreover, it was applicable to the whole population, including patients without a telephone. ..
  18. Waldorff F, Siersma V, Ertmann R, Kousgaard M, Nielsen A, Felding P, et al. The efficacy of computer reminders on external quality assessment for point-of-care testing in Danish general practice: rationale and methodology for two randomized trials. Implement Sci. 2011;6:79 pubmed publisher
    ..Study A: identifier: NCT01152151Study B: identifier: NCT01152177. ..
  19. Sidney K, Antony J, Rodrigues R, Arumugam K, Krishnamurthy S, D Souza G, et al. Supporting patient adherence to antiretrovirals using mobile phone reminders: patient responses from South India. AIDS Care. 2012;24:612-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Voice calls rather than SMSs alone seem to be preferred as reminders. Further research to study the influence of this intervention on adherence and health maintenance is warranted. ..
  20. Granger B, Bosworth H. Medication adherence: emerging use of technology. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2011;26:279-87 pubmed publisher
    ..Opportunities for providers to monitor the quality of care based on new adherence research are evolving and may be useful as standards for quality improvement emerge. ..
  21. Mbuagbaw L, Thabane L, Ongolo Zogo P, Lester R, Mills E, Smieja M, et al. The Cameroon Mobile Phone SMS (CAMPS) trial: a randomized trial of text messaging versus usual care for adherence to antiretroviral therapy. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e46909 pubmed publisher
    ..Other types of messaging or longer term studies are recommended. 1. Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry; PACTR201011000261458 2.; NCT01247181. ..
  22. Shea A, Shah B, Clark H, Malcolm J, Walker M, Karovitch A, et al. The effectiveness of implementing a reminder system into routine clinical practice: does it increase postpartum screening in women with gestational diabetes?. Chronic Dis Can. 2011;31:58-64 pubmed
    ..60%). Although the screening rates remain low, postpartum reminders doubled screening rates using the recommended test, the OGTT. ..
  23. Hysong S, Sawhney M, Wilson L, Sittig D, Espadas D, Davis T, et al. Provider management strategies of abnormal test result alerts: a cognitive task analysis. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2010;17:71-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Standardization of alert-management strategies including improving provider knowledge of appropriate tools in the EMR to manage alerts could reduce the lack of timely follow-up of abnormal diagnostic test results. ..
  24. Chung M, Richardson B, Tapia K, Benki Nugent S, Kiarie J, Simoni J, et al. A randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of counseling and alarm device on HAART adherence and virologic outcomes. PLoS Med. 2011;8:e1000422 pubmed publisher
    ..As antiretroviral treatment clinics expand to meet an increasing demand for HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa, adherence counseling should be implemented to decrease the development of treatment failure and spread of resistant HIV. ..
  25. Fairhurst K, Sheikh A. Texting appointment reminders to repeated non-attenders in primary care: randomised controlled study. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008;17:373-6 pubmed publisher
  26. Jensen H, Svanholm H, Støvring H, Bro F. A primary healthcare-based intervention to improve a Danish cervical cancer screening programme: a cluster randomised controlled trial. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2009;63:510-5 pubmed publisher
    ..To further improve participation, other barriers must be identified and addressed. ..
  27. Scholes D, Heidrich F, Yarbro P, Lindenbaum J, Marrazzo J. Population-based outreach for Chlamydia screening in men: results from a randomized trial. Sex Transm Dis. 2007;34:837-9 pubmed
    ..7% overall). Direct kit mailing performed best. In US populations, the value of mailed outreach strategies to men must be considered in the context of other CT screening priorities. ..
  28. Fiks A, Hunter K, Localio A, Grundmeier R, Bryant Stephens T, Luberti A, et al. Impact of electronic health record-based alerts on influenza vaccination for children with asthma. Pediatrics. 2009;124:159-69 pubmed publisher
    ..Clinical alerts were associated with only modest improvements in influenza vaccination rates. ..
  29. Waldorff F, Siersma V, Nielsen B, Steenstrup A, Bro F. The effect of reminder letters on the uptake of an e-learning programme on dementia: a randomized trial in general practice. Fam Pract. 2009;26:466-71 pubmed publisher
    ..However, in total, only a small proportion used the ELP. Thus, further research is needed in order to consider future implementation strategies for Internet-based Continuous Medical Education activities among not primed GPs. ..
  30. Abu Hasaballah K, James A, Aseltine R. Lessons and pitfalls of interactive voice response in medical research. Contemp Clin Trials. 2007;28:593-602 pubmed
    ..Readers will gain a better understanding of this technology, which will enable them to optimize its usage in clinical research. ..
  31. Keely E, Clark H, Karovitch A, Graham I. Screening for type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes: family physician and patient perspectives. Can Fam Physician. 2010;56:558-63 pubmed
    ..There continue to be barriers that affect screening rates, despite the perceived importance of screening by PCPs and patients. ..
  32. Perron N, Dao M, Kossovsky M, Miserez V, Chuard C, Calmy A, et al. Reduction of missed appointments at an urban primary care clinic: a randomised controlled study. BMC Fam Pract. 2010;11:79 pubmed publisher
    ..09). A practical reminder system can significantly increase patient attendance at medical outpatient clinics. An intervention focused on specific patient characteristics could further increase the effectiveness of appointment reminders. ..
  33. Armstrong A, Watson A, Makredes M, Frangos J, Kimball A, Kvedar J. Text-message reminders to improve sunscreen use: a randomized, controlled trial using electronic monitoring. Arch Dermatol. 2009;145:1230-6 pubmed publisher
    ..The use of ubiquitous communications technology, such as text messaging, may have implications for large-scale public health initiatives. Trial Registration Identifier: NCT00535769. ..
  34. Mbuagbaw L, Thabane L, Ongolo Zogo P, Lester R, Mills E, Volmink J, et al. The Cameroon mobile phone SMS (CAMPS) trial: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial of mobile phone text messaging versus usual care for improving adherence to highly active anti-retroviral therapy. Trials. 2011;12:5 pubmed publisher
    ..The intervention targets non-adherence due to forgetfulness and other forms of non-adherence. Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry PACTR201011000261458 ..
  35. Birmingham E, Catallozzi M, Findley S, Vawdrey D, Kukafka R, Stockwell M. FluAlert: a qualitative evaluation of providers' desired characteristics and concerns regarding computerized influenza vaccination alerts. Prev Med. 2011;52:274-7 pubmed publisher
    ..This study highlights providers' interest in a well-integrated, accurate alert that streamlines assessment of vaccination eligibility, ordering and documentation without impeding work-flow. ..
  36. Kitcheman J, Adams C, Pervaiz A, Kader I, Mohandas D, Brookes G. Does an encouraging letter encourage attendance at psychiatric out-patient clinics? The Leeds PROMPTS randomized study. Psychol Med. 2008;38:717-23 pubmed
    ..59-0.98, number needed to treat 16, 95% CI 10-187]. Prompting people to go to psychiatric out-patient clinics for the first time encourages them to attend. Pragmatic trials within a busy working environment are possible and informative. ..
  37. Persell S, Kaiser D, Dolan N, Andrews B, Levi S, Khandekar J, et al. Changes in performance after implementation of a multifaceted electronic-health-record-based quality improvement system. Med Care. 2011;49:117-25 pubmed publisher
  38. Singh H, Thomas E, Mani S, Sittig D, Arora H, Espadas D, et al. Timely follow-up of abnormal diagnostic imaging test results in an outpatient setting: are electronic medical records achieving their potential?. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:1578-86 pubmed publisher
    ..A multidisciplinary approach is needed to improve patient safety in this area. ..
  39. Agostini J, Zhang Y, Inouye S. Use of a computer-based reminder to improve sedative-hypnotic prescribing in older hospitalized patients. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007;55:43-8 pubmed
    ..This study highlights the potential to address patient safety concerns, and the quality of medication prescribing in particular, in vulnerable hospitalized patients. ..
  40. Fiks A, Grundmeier R, Biggs L, Localio A, Alessandrini E. Impact of clinical alerts within an electronic health record on routine childhood immunization in an urban pediatric population. Pediatrics. 2007;120:707-14 pubmed
    ..As electronic health records become more common in medical practice, such systems may transform immunization delivery to children. ..
  41. Luna D, Otero V, Canosa D, Montenegro S, Otero P, de Quiros F. Analysis and redesign of a knowledge database for a drug-drug interactions alert system. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2007;129:885-9 pubmed
  42. Dexheimer J, Talbot T, Sanders D, Rosenbloom S, Aronsky D. Prompting clinicians about preventive care measures: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2008;15:311-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Despite increased implementation of electronic health records, randomized controlled trials evaluating computerized reminder systems are infrequent.
  43. Lapane K, Waring M, Schneider K, Dube C, Quilliam B. A mixed method study of the merits of e-prescribing drug alerts in primary care. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23:442-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Primary care prescribers recognize the patient safety value of drug prescribing alerts embedded within electronic prescribing software. Improvements to increase specificity and reduce alert overload are needed. ..
  44. Singh H, Arora H, Vij M, Rao R, Khan M, Petersen L. Communication outcomes of critical imaging results in a computerized notification system. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2007;14:459-66 pubmed
    ..Although comparison data from previous studies are limited, the rate of results lost to follow-up appears to be lower than that reported in systems that do not use information technology comparable to what we evaluated. ..
  45. Kimmel S, Burns I, Wolfe R, Zimmerman R. Addressing immunization barriers, benefits, and risks. J Fam Pract. 2007;56:S61-9 pubmed
    ..They must also clearly communicate vaccine benefits and risks while understanding those factors that affect an individual's acceptance and perception of those benefits and risks. ..
  46. Christie J, Itzkowitz S, Lihau Nkanza I, Castillo A, Redd W, Jandorf L. A randomized controlled trial using patient navigation to increase colonoscopy screening among low-income minorities. J Natl Med Assoc. 2008;100:278-84 pubmed
    ..A PN improves compliance with screening colonoscopy in low-income minorities. Larger studies are needed to evaluate what features of navigation are most effective in facilitating completion of screening colonoscopy. ..
  47. Henderson R. Encouraging attendance at outpatient appointments: can we do more?. Scott Med J. 2008;53:9-12 pubmed
    ..There is scope to increase attendance and reduce non-attendance at outpatient appointments but initiatives should be piloted in conjunction with robust evaluative frameworks. ..
  48. Bryan C, Boren S. The use and effectiveness of electronic clinical decision support tools in the ambulatory/primary care setting: a systematic review of the literature. Inform Prim Care. 2008;16:79-91 pubmed
  49. Sequist T, Zaslavsky A, Marshall R, Fletcher R, Ayanian J. Patient and physician reminders to promote colorectal cancer screening: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:364-71 pubmed publisher
    ..0% vs 4.9%; P = .09). Mailed reminders to patients are an effective tool to promote colorectal cancer screening, and electronic reminders to physicians may increase screening among adults who have more frequent primary care visits. ..
  50. DeFrank J, Rimer B, Gierisch J, Bowling J, Farrell D, Skinner C. Impact of mailed and automated telephone reminders on receipt of repeat mammograms: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med. 2009;36:459-67 pubmed publisher
    ..Health organizations should consider using ATRs to maximize proportions of members who receive mammograms at annual intervals. ..
  51. Shojania K, Jennings A, Mayhew A, Ramsay C, Eccles M, Grimshaw J. The effects of on-screen, point of care computer reminders on processes and outcomes of care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;:CD001096 pubmed publisher
    ..Further research must identify design features and contextual factors consistently associated with larger improvements in provider behaviour if computer reminders are to succeed on more than a trial and error basis. ..
  52. Saville A, Albright K, Nowels C, Barnard J, Daley M, Stokley S, et al. Getting under the hood: exploring issues that affect provider-based recall using an immunization information system. Acad Pediatr. 2011;11:44-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Even with a promising tool to assist pediatric offices, implementing provider-based recall is challenging for pediatric practices. Given existing barriers, providers expressed support for alternative recall methods. ..
  53. Ahlers Schmidt C, Hart T, Chesser A, Paschal A, Nguyen T, Wittler R. Content of text messaging immunization reminders: what low-income parents want to know. Patient Educ Couns. 2011;85:119-21 pubmed publisher
    ..Text messaging may be an optimal vehicle for provider-patient communication, however cultural differences should be considered when developing messages. ..