With the confusion of medical jargon and complicated procedures, it can be difficult for patients to fully understand what they are agreeing to when they consent to undergoing a medical operation.
We recently funded a project that is working to change this, using animations to dispel some of the myths and confusion surrounding procedures. We are delighted to announce that this project has now been nominated for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award.
In 2018, less than a third of patients felt that they fully understood their procedure before consenting to it, according to research by David Wald, Professor of Cardiology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. He was determined to improve the options that doctors have for explaining treatments to patients.
"This HSJ nomination will strengthen our efforts to improve services and outcomes for patients, as we look to expand the project to other areas across the health service."David Wald, Professor of Cardiology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital
Our funding allowed his team to work on a series of animations demonstrating common cardiac procedures, like fitting a pacemaker or having an angioplasty. The videos cover the risks of the operation and the alternatives that could work for them – as well as the benefits of it and an explanation of why they have been recommended this treatment.
The videos are designed to be as accessible as possible. Patients can access the website on their mobile, tablet or computer and view the video in their own time, allowing them to fully process the information. The website is available in Bengali, Polish, Turkish and Hindi, as well as English.
Since the animations were implemented at the Barts Health NHS Trust, the number of patients who felt they understood their procedure rose from less than a third to 90%. Following this success, it is hoped that the project could expand out to other specialities across the whole of the NHS.
The success of the project was recognised by this year’s HSJ Awards, receiving a nomination for the Digitising Patient Services Initiative category.
Alastair Mclellan, editor of the HSJ said: “We would like to congratulate Professor Wald and Barts Heath NHS Trust. The entrants this year have been of incredible calibre and each of the finalists in this category has been chosen based on their outstanding commitment to excellence in healthcare.”
The project lead, Professor Wald said: “It is a privilege to have been shortlisted for this award. It recognises the enormous dedication of Barts Health staff, who, over the past six months, have worked together to introduce this technology into the service. This nomination will strengthen our efforts to improve services and outcomes for patients, as we look to expand the project to other areas across the health service.”