Consent obtained by the junior house officer--is it informed?
Of 30 junior house officers questioned, 21 had obtained patients' consent for colonoscopy. Of these 21, about one-third did not routinely discuss with patients the risks of perforation and haemorrhage. Ideally, consent should be obtained by a person capable of performing the procedure. If it is to be obtained by junior house officers, they need to know exactly what must be disclosed about each procedure. This could easily be done as part of the induction package. (+info)
How physician executives and clinicians perceive ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding ethical issues in Saudi Arabian hospitals and the attributes that might lead to the existence of these ethical issues. DESIGN: Self-completion questionnaire administered from February to July 1997. SETTING: Different health regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. PARTICIPANTS: Random sample of 457 physicians (317 clinicians and 140 physician executives) from several hospitals in various regions across the kingdom. RESULTS: There were statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians regarding the existence of various ethical issues in their hospitals. The vast majority of physician executives did not perceive that seven of the eight issues addressed by the study were ethical concerns in their hospitals. However, the majority of the clinicians perceived that six of the same eight issues were ethical considerations in their hospitals. Statistically significant differences in the perceptions of physician executives and clinicians were observed in only three out of eight attributes that might possibly lead to the existence of ethical issues. The most significant attribute that was perceived to result in ethical issues was that of hospitals having a multinational staff. CONCLUSION: The study calls for the formulation of a code of ethics that will address specifically the physicians who work in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a more immediate initiative, it is recommended that seminars and workshops be conducted to provide physicians with an opportunity to discuss the ethical dilemmas they face in their medical practice. (+info)
An audit of distribution and use of guidelines for management of head injury.
Ensuring effective distribution of guidelines is an important step towards their implementation. To examine the effectiveness of dissemination of a guidelines card on management of head injury and determine its usefulness to senior house officers (SHOs), a questionnaire survey was performed in May 1990, after distribution of the cards in induction packs for new doctors and at postgraduate lectures and displaying the guidelines in accident and emergency departments and wards. A further survey, in March 1992, assessed the impact of modifying the distribution. All (175) SHOs working in general surgery, accident and emergency medicine, orthopaedics, and neurosciences on 1 February 1990 in 19 hospitals including two neurosurgical units in Northern region were sent self completion questionnaires about awareness, receipt, use, and perceived usefulness of the guidelines. 131 of 163(80%) SHOs in post responded (median response from hospitals 83% (range 50%-100%)). Over three quarters (103, 79%) of SHOs were aware of the guidelines and 82(63%) had ever possessed a guidelines card. Only 36(44%) acquired the card in the induction pack. 92%(98/107) found them useful and 81% (89/110) referred to them to some extent. Owning and carrying the card and referring to guidelines were associated with departmental encouragement to use the guidelines. Increasing the displays of guidelines in wards and departments and the supply of cards to consultants in accident and emergency medicine as a result of this survey did not increase the number of SHOs who received cards (52/83, 63%), but more (71/83, 86%) were aware of the guidelines. The guidelines were welcomed by SHOs and used in treating patients with head injury, but their distribution requires improvement. Increased use of the guidelines may be achieved by introducing other distribution methods and as a result of encouragement by senior staff. (+info)
Clinicians' satisfaction with a hospital blood transfusion service: a marketing analysis of a monopoly supplier.
One of the objectives of the NHS reforms is to improve customer focus within the health service. In a study to assess the quality of customer service provided by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Blood Transfusion Service a 19 item questionnaire survey of the main clinical users of the service was performed to ascertain their satisfaction, measured on a 5 point anchored scale, with important aspects of the service, including medical consultation, diagnostic services, blood and blood components or products and their delivery, and general satisfaction with the service. Of 122 clinicians in medical and surgical disciplines in five hospitals in Edinburgh, 72 (59%) replied. Fourteen (22%) indicated dissatisfaction with any aspect of the medical consultation service, owing to inadequate follow up of clinical contacts and unsatisfactory routing of incoming calls. Diagnostic services were criticised for the presentation, communication, and interpretation of results. The restricted availability of whole blood, the necessity to order platelets and plasma through the duty blood transfusion service doctor, and the use of a group and screen policy, attracted criticism from a small number of clinicians. Ten of 68 respondents expressed dissatisfaction with delivery of blood and components to the wards and theatres. The findings indicate that the clinicians served by this blood transfusion service are largely satisfied with the service. Changes are being implemented to improve reporting of laboratory results and measures taken to improve liaison with clinicians. (+info)
Evaluation of audit of medical inpatient records in a district general hospital.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate an audit of medical inpatient records. DESIGN: Retrospective comparison of the quality of recording in inpatients' notes over three years (1988, 1989, 1990). SETTING: Central Middlesex Hospital. MATERIALS: Random sample of 188 notes per year drawn systematically from notes from four selected one month periods and audited by two audit nurses and most hospital physicians. MAIN MEASURES: General quality of routine clerking, assessment, clinical management, and discharge, according to a standardised, criterion based questionnaire developed in the hospital. RESULTS: 1988 was the year preceding the start of audit in the hospital, 1989 the year of active audit with implicit and loosely defined criteria, and 1990 the year after introduction and circulation of explicit criteria for note keeping. There was a significant trend over the three years in 21/56 items of the questionnaire, including recording of alcohol intake (x2 = 8.4, df = 1, p = 0.01), ethnic origin (x2 = 57, df = 1, p = 0.001), allergies and drug reactions (x2 = 10, df = 1, p = 0.01) at admission and of chest x ray findings (x2 = 8, df = 1, p = 0.01), final diagnosis (x2 = 5.6, df = 1, p = 0.025), and signed entries (x2 = 11.3, df = 1, p = 0.001). Documentation of discharge and notification of discharge to general practitioners was not significantly improved. CONCLUSIONS: Extended audit of note keeping failed to sustain an initial improvement in practice; this may be due to coincidental decline in feedback to doctors about their performance. (+info)
Registrars' and senior registrars' perceptions of their audit activities.
OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the level and quality of audit activity among junior doctors, their attitudes to audit, and their views on its educational value. DESIGN: Postal questionnaire survey in April 1991. SETTING: Yorkshire region. SUBJECTS: All 610 registrars and senior registrars recorded as employed in the region. MAIN MEASURES: Grade, current specialty, details of last audit participated in and its educational usefulness, and attitude to audit. RESULTS: 255 (41.8%) completed questionnaires were returned, 148 from registrars and 101 from senior registrars; grade was not indicated in six. 27 respondents were in general medicine, 26 in general surgery, 30 in anaesthetics, and 36 in psychiatry; other specialties had fewer than 20 respondents. About a fifth (54) of respondents, most in psychiatry (19/36, 53%), had not participated in audit. Among the 201 who had participated, the audit topics covered most components of care (access to services (47, 23%), communication (51, 25%), and appropriateness (158, 79%) and effectiveness (157, 78%) of treatment); only 84 (41%) audits set standards, and in only half of them had the doctors been involved in doing so. Doctors responsible for gathering data and those responsible for collating and reporting data found their experience significantly less useful than those who were not. 172 (86%) respondents considered that audit had helped patient care. Suggested improvements to the educational value of audit were mostly for better methods but included requests for less "witch hunting," better feedback, more training, more time, and more participation by consultants. CONCLUSIONS: The educational value of audit to junior doctors could be improved by better audit methods, guidance, and feedback. (+info)
Feasibility of monitoring patient based health outcomes in a routine hospital setting.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of monitoring health outcomes in a routine hospital setting and the value of feedback of outcomes data to clinicians by using the SF 36 health survey questionnaire. DESIGN: Administration of the questionnaire at baseline and three months, with analysis and interpretation of health status data after adjustments for sociodemographic variables and in conjunction with clinical data. Exploration of usefulness of outcomes data to clinicians through feedback discussion sessions and by an evaluation questionnaire. SETTING: One gastroenterology outpatient department in Aberdeen Royal Hospitals Trust, Scotland. PATIENTS: All (573) patients attending the department during one month (April 1993). MAIN MEASURES: Ability to obtain patient based outcomes data and requisite clinical information and feed it back to the clinicians in a useful and accessible form. RESULTS: Questionnaires were completed by 542 (95%) patients at baseline and 450 (87%) patients at follow up. Baseline health status data and health outcomes data for the eight different aspects of health were analysed for individual patients, key groups of patients, and the total recruited patient population. Significant differences were shown between patients and the general population and between different groups of patients, and in health status over time. After adjustment for differences in sociodemography and main diagnosis patients with particularly poor scores were identified and discussed. Clinicians judged that this type of assessment could be useful for individual patients if the results were available at the time of consultation or for a well defined group of patients if used as part of a clinical trial. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring routine outcomes is feasible and instruments to achieve this, such as the SF 36 questionnaire, have potential value in an outpatient setting. IMPLICATIONS: If data on outcomes are to provide a basis for clinical and managerial decision making, information systems will be required to collect, analyse, interpret, and feed it back regularly and in good time. (+info)
Attitudes and behaviors towards clinical guidelines: the clinicians' perspective.
Objectives--To find out what attitudes hospital doctors have towards the culture of clinical guidelines; to ascertain perceived knowledge and use of clinical guidelines; and to investigate why hospital doctors think that clinical guidelines may not be used and how they think that the use of guidelines can be encouraged. Design--Postal questionnaire survey be tween October 1993 and January 1994. Setting--Hospitals within Oxford region. Subjects--409 doctors of all grades working in one of six specialties (anaesthetics, paediatrics, general surgery, general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology and accident and emergency medicine). 47 were randomly picked as part of the pilot study, 362 were extracted from hospital staffing lists. Results--268 clinicians (66%) responded to the questionnaire. Most respondents (77%, 208) expressed welcoming attitudes towards guidelines but 51%(136) perceived the attitudes of their colleagues as being less favourable. Over three quarters of respondents claimed to use guidelines at least once a month. Most respondents learnt about guidelines from discussions with their peers (50%, 134 respondents) or senior doctors 37%, 99) or from journals (39%, 105). Reasons why guidelines may not be used included being unaware of particular guidelines (80%, 213 respondents) and the fact that guidelines had been poorly developed (64%, 171) or were impractical (49%, 132). The best ways to encourage the use of guidelines were thought to be encouragement from senior doctors (72%, 193 respondents) and peers (59%, 157) and by monitoring behaviour and providing feedback (68%, 181). Conclusion--The decision to use a guide line was based on the perceived value of each guideline and was influenced by other clinicians' behaviour. The results provide an insight into aspects of dissemination and implementation which are perceived as influential by the recipients of guidelines. (+info)