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Project Prize Winner - STAR Conference 2023

We are pleased to announce that Rob Penders has won the Project Prize at the STAR conference for his innovative idea on using the a Shortcuts app to help with patient information and consent. Dr Penders' idea focuses on developing and testing the impact of a smartphone app/iOS shortcut that provides patients with online information resources at the bedside. Rob's project is aimed at solving the problem of providing patients with written information about anaesthesia and its associated risks in emergency, urgent or trauma procedures.
Overall we felt this idea is a great example of innovation in healthcare, and we are excited to see how his idea will develop. We congratulate Rob on his achievement and look forward to supporting his project pitch!


Topic Area: Patient Information and Consent for anaesthesia Idea: Develop and test/audit impact of a smartphone App / iOS shortcut to provide patients with online information resources at the bedside Background The way we provide information and consent patients for anaesthesia and associated procedures (regional blocks, invasive lines etc) is often debated, particularly in the context of the recent Montgomery ruling. In response to this, the AoA published updated guidance in 2017 on Consent for anaesthesia. Their first key recommendation is that: "Information about anaesthesia and its associated risks should be provided to patients as early as possible, preferably in the form of an evidence-based online resource or leaflet that the patient can keep for future reference There is a wealth of high-quality patient information resources available online, notably those developed by the RCOA and the OAA ( They provide free, multi-language and accessible information sheets for patients and carers relating to aspects of anaesthetic care and obstetric anaesthesia. Furthermore, the RCOA’s resources are PIF Trusted Information Creator Kitemark accredited. The problem When patients present for emergency, urgent or trauma procedures (i.e. those listed on the day of surgery) they haven’t been through the usual POAC process and therefore don’t receive the usual patient information resources. From a personal point of view, particularly when consenting patients for blocks on a trauma list or epidurals for emergency laparotomy, I often want to provide patients with written information, but find this difficult. Frequently, printed leaflets simply aren’t available or they are difficult to find (sequestered in an unmarked drawer). Failing that, I end up spending precious time printing one out. These barriers often lead me to avoid offering written information to patients in the first place. Solution / idea To solve the problem I developed a Shortcut app on my iPhone that allows me to automatically generate a QR code pointing to an online RCOA or Labour Pains resource. I compiled a personal library of these resources and I'm now able to show these to patients at the bedside. I have used it successfully in a variety of patient groups, including older patients. (I’ve attached screenshots to depict the current process). Assessing effectiveness My initial ideas are that we could assess how this App / workflow impacts the provision of patient information resource (in particular to this patient group). For example - a before-after questionnaire assessing anaesthetists attitudes / barriers to providing written information, or auditing whether information has been provided to emergency / trauma patients (e.g. documentation on the anaesthesia chart, or asking patients). These are my first thoughts and I’m open to more creative ways of implementing and assessing this. The ideal endpoint for this would be to develop an RCOA endorsed App which hosts an always-up-to-date library of patient resources to share with patients, with the ability to favourite and share in other ways e.g. email / airdrop.


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