Digital Online Anaesthesia Patient Informed Consent before Elective Diagnostic Procedures or Surgery: Recent Practice in Children—An Exploratory ESAIC Survey (2021)

Digital Online Anaesthesia Patient Informed Consent before Elective Diagnostic Procedures or Surgery: Recent Practice in Children—An Exploratory ESAIC Survey (2021)
Claudia Neumann, Grigorij Schleifer, Nadine Strassberger-Nerschbach, Johannes Kamp, Gregor Massoth, Alexandra Görtzen-Patin, Dishalen Cudian, Markus Velten, Mark Coburn, Ehrenfried Schindler, Maria Wittmann
Journal of Clinical Medicine, 19 January 2022
Open Access
Abstract
Background
One undisputed benefit of digital support is the possibility of contact reduction, which has become particularly important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is currently no study assessing the Europe-wide use of digital online pre-operative patient information or evaluation in the health sector. The aim of this study was to give an overview of the current status in Europe.
Methods
A web-based questionnaire covering the informed consent process was sent to members of the European Society of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine (ESAIC) in 47 European countries (42,433 recipients/930 responses). Six questions related specifically to the practice in paediatrics.
Results
A total of 70.2% of the respondents indicated that it was not possible to obtain informed consent via the Internet in a routine setting, and 67.3% expressed that they did not know whether it is in line with the legal regulations. In paediatric anaesthesia, the informed consent of only one parent was reported to be sufficient by 77.6% of the respondents for simple interventions and by 63.8% for complex interventions. Just over 50% of the respondents judged that proof of identity of the parents was necessary, but only 29.9% stated that they ask for it in clinical routine. In the current situation, 77.9% would favour informed consent in person, whereas 60.2% could imagine using online or telephone interviews as an alternative to a face-to-face meeting if regulations were changed. Only 18.7% participants reported a change in the regulations due to the current pandemic situation.
Conclusion
Whether informed consent is obtained either online or on the telephone in the paediatric population varies widely across Europe and is not currently implemented as standard practice. For high-risk patients, such as the specific cohort of children with congenital heart defects, wider use of telemedicine might provide a benefit in the future in terms of reduced contact and reduced exposure to health risks through additional hospital stays.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s