Final report of the BSN “Pre-operative consent project” published

We are pleased to announce the completion of the 2013/14 Biobanking Stakeholder Network project, “Pre-operative consent”. This Cancer Institute NSW-funded project was conducted across four Translational Cancer Research Centres and in eight NSW hospitals*, with the aim of embedding biobanking consent into routine perioperative workflows. In doing so, we sought to better engage hospital staff and increase tissue and data collection from eligible patients.

The project team worked collaboratively to develop a suite of project materials, including patient consent forms and brochures, and promotional and educational materials that supported stakeholder engagement initiatives at hospital sites. The rollout of the consent projects is complete at five sites, with the remaining sites in progress at the time of writing. Two key outcome measures were assessed:

  1. The rate of request for consent (the number of patients who were asked to consent to participate as a proportion of the total number of operations for a malignancy)
  2. The participation rate (the proportion of those patients asked to participate in the biobank who actually agreed).

Participation rates were very high: 99% of patients across all sites who were asked to participate agreed to have their specimens banked and their health data collected.

Rate of request for consent was satisfactory, but significant opportunities for improvement were identified and are under active consideration.

The following aspects had a significant impact on both the participation and request for consent rates for this project:

  • The integration of biobanking consent processes into routine hospital workflows
  • The inclusion of biobanking consent forms in existing hospital documentation
  • The mapping of patient pathways in participating hospital departments to inform when and where consent should be offered
  • The identification of project champions to promote staff engagement
  • The development of ongoing educational activities to keep biobanking initiatives visible to clinical staff.

* Participating organisations TCRCs: Hunter Cancer Research Alliance, Translational Cancer Research Network, Sydney Vital and Sydney Catalyst Hospitals: John Hunter and Calvary Mater Hospitals, Newcastle; Royal Hospital for Women, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Prince of Wales, St George, Royal North Shore and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals, Sydney

If you are interested in a copy of this report, please click here.

Suggested citation: Meagher N (ed). ‘The Biobanking Stakeholders Network Pre-operative Consent Project 2013-2014’. CINSW BSN, March 2015.

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