Audit of the quality of consent form completion and improvement of practice
Stavros Constantinou, Panagiotis A Dimitriadis
Department of General Surgery, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, Berkshire, UK
Abstract: To achieve excellence in clinical practice and a high level of health care provision, consent processes need to be clear and precise. In particular, patients who are to undergo elective operations must be fully informed before consenting to treatment. The aim of this study is to assess the quality of consent form completion by different health professionals in our department and to identify areas for potential improvement. We audited 35 elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy consent forms, using a set proforma to produce a final score for each form, in order to assess the quality of consent completion and to recommend changes. We then implemented these changes in our current clinical practice and subsequently re-audited our performance. Our results suggest that targeted, specific, and low cost interventions could significantly improve consent processes. This will considerably improve the quality of health care provision and better protect the surgeons/trust in medico-legal cases.
Keywords: audit, consent, cholecystectomy
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