Follow-up for ongoing management and monitoring of patients is important in clinical practice and research. While common, telephone follow-up is resource intensive and, in our experience, yields low success rates. Electronic communication using mobile devices including smartphones and tablets can provide efficient alternatives - including SMS (text), online forms and mobile apps. To assess attitudes towards electronic follow-up, we surveyed 642 parents and carers at Perth Children's Hospital, targeting demographics, device ownership and attitudes towards electronic follow-up. Mobile phone ownership was effectively universal. Almost all respondents were happy to communicate electronically with the hospital. Promisingly, 93.2% of respondents were happy to receive follow-up SMSs from the hospital and 80.3% were happy to reply to SMS questions. There was less enthusiasm regarding other modalities, with 59.9% happy to use a website and 69.0% happy to use a mobile app. The results support the introduction of electronic communication for follow-up in our paediatric population.
Keywords: Follow-up; anaesthesia; mobile apps; paediatrics; smartphones.