Streamlining the Consent Process for Surgery

 May 4, 2022

Update from the ‘QCH Cares’ consulting team from Alaina Tabani, Alana Wong-Martinusen, Ally Coogan and Shannon Linsey

We are working with Dr. Nelson Alphonso, a pediatric cardiac surgeon based in Queensland Children’s Hospital in South Brisbane, Australia to develop an educational, interactive mHealth application to streamline the consent process for his patients.

Currently, consent for surgery is taken on paper while the surgical team verbally explains the procedure to the patient and their family. However, previous research has shown that 70% of patients do not understand a printed consent document and often have poor recall regarding what they signed. The primary goal of the QCH application is to increase patient’s understanding of their surgery by breaking the long and complicated consent process into smaller, digestible pieces using interactive audio and visual supplementary elements. Moreover, this application will create a tailored risk profile for each patient based on their past medical history and co-morbidities, personalizing the consent process to meet each patient’s unique needs.

For patients, we hope this application increases their health literacy, allowing them to make an informed decision about whether or not they would like to undergo their procedure(s). For providers, we hope this application streamlines the consent process and reduces the time they spend explaining the surgery to their patients.