Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has launched a digital patient initiated follow-up care pathway pilot for its endometriosis patients.

The introduction of the Patient Initiated Follow-Up (PIFU) care pathway allows patients to complete digital questionnaires at regular intervals, in place of attending face-to-face appointments.

Should they indicate an issue on the questionnaire it will trigger an appointment where necessary. Patients can also submit a questionnaire if they feel they need to update healthcare professionals on their condition which is automatically triaged for faster clinician access.

Marcus Pradhan, performance improvement manager, at the trust said: “Like all NHS trusts, we are experiencing huge demand for our services and so are looking at ways to reduce backlogs and operate more efficiently while also delivering quality care. PIFU is one way that we can do this.”

Healthcare Communications was selected to implement the service, which will trigger digital questionnaires via the Patient Portal at three-, six- and nine-month intervals.

Concepta Wayment, vice president of transformation at Healthcare Communications, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support Homerton with the implementation of its PIFU pathway.

“Our technology is primed to easily facilitate bespoke questionnaires, such as that used by Homerton, ensuring that the PIFU care pathway can be tailored for specific medical conditions. This has significant potential for supporting trusts in their efforts to optimise appointment scheduling and to tackle backlogs and capacity challenges.”

The trust intends to roll out the initiative for other long-term conditions, following the successful completion of this pilot. It followed a similar staggered roll-out pattern when it selected Genesis to deliver an inventory management service. It was initially implemented in the receipt, distribution and ward locations, before being followed by cardiology, theatres and radiology departments.