The concept of “self-care”, which includes self-monitoring, is well documented as a model to help both clinicians and patients reach a shared approach to managing long-term conditions. The approach brings major benefits to patients including greater symptom management, a feeling of well-being and improved quality of life9.
Most recent reviews show there can be considerable cost savings for patients and the NHS through efficiencies achieved in the provision of care. It has been identified that when changes are made to enable patients better to care for themselves by providing information, education, access to experts by telephone or internet and other support that this may then mean a person makes less, or more appropriate, use of services or other resources10.
The importance of self-monitoring for young people
There are many challenges by families with children who have heart conditions. The added pressure that can be exerted through the need to travel to clinics for INR testing can be relieved through the use of self-monitoring.
Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of CHF said:
“Children with heart conditions have to miss a great deal of school to travel to hospital to have their INR levels checked, which is a disruption in their already difficult lives. Parents may also be prevented from going back to work and there are significant travel costs. Allowing families to self-monitor is a small change which would make a major difference to families across the country”