There is an increasing drive across outpatient services to move away from routine follow-up appointments at regular intervals. Increasingly, services are being encouraged to enable patient-initiated review or follow-up. Policy makers see this as an enabler in elective recovery as it has been shown to reduce appointments (patients appear to come back less when in control of their review). A number of elements need to be in place to ensure patient-initiated review is safe, effective and satisfactory to the patient, including remote monitoring, advice lines, and support for self-management.
BSR and its members have been at the forefront of developing practice and policy in patient-initiated review/follow-up and national guidance can be found across England, Scotland and Wales.
Remote monitoring is the process of using technology to monitor patients outside a traditional care setting, such as in their own home, and is gaining in prominence as routine follow-up is reduced. Remote monitoring principally relies on technology but can take many different forms: monitoring devices, online completion of Patient Reported Outcome Measure questionnaires, app-based symptom trackers, and more. Developing technology is time and cost intensive but BSR members across the UK are pioneering approaches, which we showcase here.