Patients' use of digital audio recordings in four different outpatient clinics

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate a new technology of digital audio recording (DAR) of health consultations to provide knowledge about patients' use and evaluation of this recording method.

Design

A cross-sectional feasibility analysis of the intervention using log data from the recording platform and data from a patient-administered questionnaire.

Setting

Four different outpatient clinics at a Danish hospital: Paediatrics, Orthopaedics, Internal Medicine and Urology.

Participants

Two thousand seven hundred and eighty-four outpatients having their consultation audio recorded by one of 49 participating health professionals.

Intervention

DAR of outpatient consultations provided to patients permitting replay of their consultation either alone or together with their relatives.

Main Outcome Measure

Replay of the consultation within 90 days from the consultation.

Results

In the adult outpatient clinics, one in every three consultations was replayed; however, the rates were significantly lower in the paediatric clinic where one in five consultations was replayed. The usage of the audio recordings was positively associated with increasing patient age and first time visits to the clinic. Patient gender influenced replays in different ways; for instance, relatives to male patients replayed recordings more often than relatives to female patients did. Approval of future recordings was high among the patients who replayed the consultation.

Conclusion

Patients found that recording health consultations was an important information aid, and the digital recording technology was found to be feasible in routine practice.

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