Experiences of Patients and Nurses Regarding the Use of Electronic Informed Consent

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sun Hee Kim, MS
Red Cross College of Nursing, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, South Korea
Hee Sun Kang, PhD
Red Cross College of Nursing, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea

Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of patients and nurses regarding their use of electronic informed consent.

Methods: Participants were 30 Korean nurses and 27 patients. Data were collected from October to November 2013 in one university hospital. After obtaining permission from the participants, each focus group and in-depth interview was audio-taped and transcribed. The responses were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.

Results: Most participants perceived the use of electronic informed consent as simple and convenient to use, saving space and time, and associated with a quality, high-tech hospital. However, participants stated that the system was not satisfactory in part because of the occasional unexpected machinery error or malfunction, and because they were at first unaccustomed to its use. Some patients wished for function improvements related to the e-signature, making it more similar to a handwritten signature; to improve the system’s adjustability to allow a larger font size when needed; and for the use of multimedia to assist in better understanding the informed consent material. In contrast, nurses wanted a wider implementation of electronic informed consent because it was not being used for all informed consent cases, resulting in confusion and an additional workload.

Conclusion: User satisfaction could be increased by improving the functions of the electronic informed consent system. This includes offering education regarding how to use it, incorporating multimedia, and expanding the use of electronic informed consent in more cases.