The English used in this article or section may not be easy for everybody to understand. (May 2023)
An outpatient department or outpatient clinic is the part of a hospital for people with health problems who visit the hospital for diagnosis or treatment, but do not at this time need to stay in the hospital. Modern outpatient departments offer a wide range of treatment services, diagnostic tests and surgical procedures.
In the past patients with long term problems would come regularly to these clinics, sometimes once a year and sometimes more often. The COVID-19 pandemic meant this was seen as dangerous, so there has been a big increase in the use of telephone, video and email to check up on people. There has also been a big increase in what is called patient-initiated follow-up appointments or PIFU. It is down to the patient to contact the hospital if they think they need medical help. 
Within the NHS there is now agreement that a “large proportion of patients can be managed without setting foot in a physical clinic”.
See also[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- ↑ Rapson2020-05-11T11:00:00+01:00, Jasmine. "Covid sparks boom in digital hospital outpatient appointments". Health Service Journal. Retrieved 2023-03-13.
- ↑ "Redefining patient empowerment with PIFU". Digital Health. 2022-08-11. Retrieved 2023-03-13.
- ↑ Carding2022-12-13T14:23:00, Nick. "The Download: How virtual outpatients saves lives". Health Service Journal. Retrieved 2023-03-14.