Productive individual conversation in day-to-day scientific practice remains difficult, and has been further more highlighted through the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals will normally only retain around 50% of the facts delivered to them in consultation, and could even deny data at any time getting supplied to them [1]. Even so, access to info appropriate to prognosis and therapy is essential for knowledgeable consent and can strengthen affected person satisfaction. Traditionally, printed copies of healthcare facility-accredited affected individual data leaflets (PILs) have been used for this reason, but both their availability in clinic and uptake can be variable [2]. We developed a novel digital strategy to give individuals with vitreoretinal surgical information using QR smartphone technologies, and aimed to broaden the uptake of PILs in our clinic. Gardiner et al. recommended a approach of using QR codes for individuals to scan to obtain PILs, and their group produced a sheet of QR codes that surgeons could present to sufferers. They did not having said that exhibit its utility [3]. Likewise, we have created a poster of QR codes linking to Have confidence in-authorized PILs appropriate to the Vitreoretinal Company at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London. The poster was prominently shown inside each individual clinic home (Fig. 1A) and piloted in attending people who subsequently done a survey. To our understanding, this is the to start with published true-globe evaluation of the use of QR technologies for dissemination of PILs to clients in the medical environment.

Fig. 1: Application of QR smartphone technology for distribution of PILs.

A Poster of QR codes linking to Believe in-authorised PILs which was displayed in clinic rooms. B Distribution of clients surveyed by age and intercourse. C Smartphone possession distributed by age. D Feeling on use of QR technological know-how distributed by age. E Choice for modality of PIL acquisition distributed by age.

119 patients had been surveyed between November 2020 and April 2021. 52% have been male (Fig. 1B). Median age was 60 several years (range 20–84 several years). 82% experienced a smartphone able of using a QR code, a craze which will possible only maximize with time. All round, 67% felt snug with the engineering when they experienced employed the QR poster and 54% expressed a choice for QR code-mediated info acquisition about a printed duplicate (Fig. 1C–E). Smartphone ownership, assurance with the technology and choice of QR in excess of paper PIL acquisition have been all noticeably related with youthful age (p = 0.013, p < 0.0001, and p = 0.039 respectively, Mann–Whitney tests, Fig. 1C–E). Current smartphone users will age which is likely to mitigate the observed lower acceptability in the over 70 years age groups in the future.

Feedback from patients helped us to evaluate the advantages and limitations of the QR code based distribution of patient information. Several liked the fact that they were able to adjust the font size and brightness of the QR-linked PIL on their smartphone and could send the document to other devices or to relatives. The majority who trialed the QR poster were satisfied and did not wish to take a printed copy.

We conclude that QR code posters serve as a suitable and environmentally sustainable alternative to printed PILs for patient access to relevant clinical information

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of James Neffendorf and Neruban Kumaran in facilitating collection of data.

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AA: data analysis, data collection, writing (original draft). DAHL: methodology, supervision, writing, (reviewing and editing). HOO: conceptualization, data analysis, supervision, writing (reviewing and editing)

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Correspondence to
Harry O. Orlans.

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Azad, A., Laidlaw, D.A.H. & Orlans, H.O. Using QR smartphone technology to improve patient communication and information distribution.
Eye (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01757-x

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