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PTU-028 The Internet: an alternative to postal consent
  1. C Calvert,
  2. N Prasad,
  3. N Prasad
  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, UK

Abstract

Introduction Valid informed consent is mandatory before endoscopy. This can be time consuming and is frequently inadequate. The process may be limited by time constraints, communication difficulties, the volume of information delivered, and patient apprehensions. Postal Consent has been advocated by the BSG but we present a feasible alternative.

Methods Our website delivers detailed information regarding endoscopy and allows patients to consent online. The website systematically takes patients through the consent process with videos and images to illustrate the more complex concepts. Patients are given the opportunity to print and sign a consent form which they can bring to the endoscopy unit on the day of their procedure.

Results Our own survey of 412 patients attending for endoscopy showed that 69% had Internet access and 83% felt that this website would be helpful. We found that 73% of patients were already using the Internet to obtain medical information and that 77% thought that the information they found was at least as good, if not better, than that received from health professionals.

Conclusion A major benefit of online consent is that information can be interactive and multimedia enriched, which aids understanding. It will also allow patients the conveniences of time and location as well as improve efficiency in the endoscopy department.

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