Tonsillectomy is a common pediatric surgical procedure associated with significant health

benefits, however, long lists of instructions both pre- and post-surgery can sometimes cause

parents to neglect a crucial step. Parents often forget to ask for explanations of preoperative

procedures because they are concerned with the surgery itself and managing their child’s anxiety.

Post-surgery care is similarly bound up with checklists and guidelines that can confuse parents

rather than help them.

Text messaging (also called ‘short messaging service’- SMS) can help parents become an

active participant in the surgery process by acting as a checklist and gateway to professional

advice. Scheduling text messages for critical perioperative time points can help families adhere

to evidence-based care recommendations and reduce anxiety. SMS has been used in several

medical contexts including promoting treatment compliance, appointment reminders and

education. The ubiquitous and cheap nature of SMS makes it a cost-effective medium that is less

staff intensive, less intrusive and more standardized than most other forms of follow-up.

Improved at home care can translate into reduced school absences and less caregiver burden

from time lost at work and travel expenses. An automated SMS service can help manage the

postoperative course of patients without compromising patient safety or satisfaction. The purpose

of this implementation study is to implement and test a sustainable text-messaging service for

parents of children aged 3-14 years scheduled for tonsillectomy ± adenoidectomy at the IWK.

Tonsil-Text-to-Me will deliver highly-coordinated “just-in-time” care to help reduce healthcare

utilization and improve child and caregiver outcomes.