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Homerton Hospital sets up online questionnaires for endometriosis treatment


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Homerton University Hospital has set up a service through which endometriosis patients will be able to submit reports on their condition through a series of digital questionnaires.

It has launched its digital patient initiated follow-up (PIFU) care pathway with the support of software provider Healthcare Communications, running a pilot for endometriosis treatment with a view to using it more widely.

The service automatically triggers alerts to fill in the questionnaires through the trust's patient portal at three-, six or nine-month intervals rather than requiring people to attend face-to-face appointments.

It immediately makes the responses available for clinicians to review and call those patients who need to be seen in person.

In addition, patients can access the questionnaires at any time to report flares in their condition or worrying symptoms. These are then immediately triaged following which they can be given fast access to clinicians.

The hospital believes the initiative will deliver improved outcomes for its patients and remove the need to attend a face-to-face appointment if their condition is under control.

Marcus Pradhan, Homerton Hospital’s performance improvement manager, explained that the hospital took the decision to implement PIFU in response to NHS England guidance and as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reducing the backlog

He 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.”

The data captured by the PIFU is also available for auditing and research.

Dr Marianne Wild, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Homerton, said: “There’s a huge drive for research to determine effective endometriosis treatments and to generally improve our knowledge of the condition.

“The data we are collecting will, with our patients consent, enable us to undertake comparison studies looking at the effectiveness of various treatment options. It is really exciting for us to be able to do this.”

Endometriosis is a long term chronic condition affecting women’s wombs that takes an average of eight years from onset of symptoms to diagnosis.

Image from iStock, Insta Photos

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