At present, patients who need to undergo a surgical procedure or who are involved in a clinical research trial give their informed consent by signing a paper document. The legislation concerning this documentation is explicit: patients must confirm their consent 72 hours after signing the document the first time, and they must be able to access the documentation at any time if they want further information. The documentation is then scanned and recorded in the patient file. This procedure is time-intensive and laborious.
The project proposal is to develop* a way to obtain consent electronically in order to lessen administrative procedure and improve the relationship of trust between patients (research subjects) and healthcare providers (researchers). Patients sign on a tablet after discussing with the physician and receiving clear explanations of the conditions of treatment. After 72 hours, the patients receive an email requesting automatic confirmation of their consent, given simply by replying to the email. The documents are automatically saved to the integrated patient file as well as to MonDossierMedical.ch [URL means “MyMedicalFile”]. The documents can be accessed at any time by physicians and by patients.
(*) using the systems @neurIST, AneuX, and SwissSOS
Dr. Philippe Bijlenga, Deputy Head Physician and Clinical Professor, Neurosurgery Division, Clinical Neuroscience Department, Geneva University Hospitals