Evolving consent processes improve patient satisfaction
CHICAGO — Patient satisfaction following foot surgery improved as the consent process evolved and was easier for patients to recall, according to data presented here.
“The addition of patient-specific letters improves informed consent, and a spoken consent process also improves patient satisfaction,” Christopher Cowan, BSc, MChB, said during his presentation at the International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies Triennial Meeting.
Cowan and colleagues studied 111 responding patients who underwent forefoot, mid-foot or hind-foot procedures between July 2012 and May 2013. Patients in group A provided written consent at their last outpatient clinic and confirmed consent the day of surgery, patients in group B provided consent in a preadmission clinic the week prior to surgery, and patients in group C were provided patient-specific explanations of their surgery and risks written by the surgeon. Patients in all groups filled out questionnaires the day of surgery prior to any contact with the surgeon(s). These questions centered on the planned procedure, postoperative instructions and complications to evaluate patient cognizance and recollection of the consent process. Recall and VAS values were compared between all groups.
Group A saw 18.8% of patients recall three relevant complications, whereas 56.2% recalled patient-specific postoperative considerations. Groups B (45.5% and 63.7%, respectively) and C (48.3% and 70.7%, respectively) both saw improvement in these percentages, according to Cowan.
Satisfaction was shown to improve with the evolving consent process (four out of 10 in group A, five out of 10 in group B and six out of 10 in group C).
“Our study showed there was statistical significance in our results … [via] two-tailed student T-tests, which confirms the significant change in the overall comparison between groups, complications and, possibly most importantly, patient satisfaction,” Cowan said. — by Christian Ingram
Reference: Cowan C. Improving the consent process in foot and ankle surgery – The use of consent clinics and patient specific literature. Presented at: International Federation of Foot & Ankle Societies Triennial Meeting; Sept. 19-21, 2014; Chicago.
Disclosure: Cowan has no relevant financial disclosures.