News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Steps to Better Protect Patients

Steps to Better Protect Patients

New research shows that patients still forget critical details about their proposed operation, shortly after their consultation with their surgeon and that improved communication needs to happen to ensure that patients are better informed.

The research also indicated that providing patients with a booklet of information about their operation would not necessarily guarantee that a patient retained the information.

A paper “Informed Consent – Patients Listen and Read – But What Information do they retain” will be presented today by Dr Perry Turner at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

The scientific gathering attracts up to 1500 medical specialists from around the world and is being held over four days between Tuesday 6 May and Friday 9 May, 2003.

“We found that despite patients receiving and understanding verbal and written information about their operation, from their surgeon in an outpatient appointment, that it was very easily and quickly forgotten,” said Dr Perry Turner Advanced Orthopaedic Registrar at Taranaki Base Hospital.

“Many doctors make the assumption that providing a pamphlet is enough to ensure that a patient has understood details like retention of post-operative recovery time frames and possible operative complications.

“However, it is not only a lot of information to remember but it is often the case there is as much as an 18 month gap between an initial consultation with a surgeon and when the patient actually has the operation. This can lead patients to mistake the fact they haven’t been told important information about their surgery.

“One way to ensure that patients are better informed is having a pre-operative consultation two weeks prior to when the operation is scheduled, to again go over the operation details and answer any questions. This has become increasingly more common in the last four years. Good communication builds rapport and also reinforces the doctor-patient relationship, minimising dissatisfaction with the operation or any complications that may occur.

“It is also important in an increasingly medico-legal environment that doctors also protect themselves by effectively communicating,” he said.

For further information, interview details and photo opportunities contact: Catriona Robertson McMedia Marketing Ltd Tel: 06 308 8852 / 021 243 2058 Email:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>