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Website review - www.ACPdecision.org

The www.acpdecision.org website was set up by a North American doctor through a non-profit organisation to provide video guidance using common hospital experiences involving oncology and end of life care.  It is aimed for patients to have a supplementary source of information to allow them to make informed decisions related to their healthcare.  They highlighted inadequacies within their training systems and expressed a wish to provide information to patients in an easily accessible and simple format using videos.  They website was trialed within the Hawaiian healthcare sector and expanded across North America. Currently, the website states it is only available to North American institutes, however, with time they plan to expand further.

The use of videos to provide information to patients is not new, nevertheless, this website does have a collection of professionally produced videos.  The videos themselves are of an appropriate length to not allow the user to be over loaded or lose their attention.  It involves visual tours of units with different healthcare professionals narrating.  There is an application for smart phones that allows remote access to this portal and the video catalogue which could be useful in the mobile setting for patients.  The website design is meticulously executed with easy access tabs and engagement with most types of modern hand held media.  They do have some evidence present on the website to show the impact of the website upon patient care.

Although it does focus on certain topics within healthcare, it is heavily focused towards oncology and end of life care.  There are videos focusing on some aspects of chronic disease and each are available in a range of languages.  One interesting and appropriate set of videos are the ones on resuscitation orders.  It covers many aspects of the resuscitation decision including footage of a resuscitation.  It is this footage that would be very powerful to a patient allowing them to make a more informed decision. It is a useful supplement to the information that we tell patients about their care, however, it is orientated around a North American health care model  It is an ambitious task to achieve a comprehensive collection and they have made admirable strives in this direction, nevertheless, there is still some way to go.   They license their videos on an annual basis and are heavily involved with the Hawaiian healthcare hospitals at this current time.  The application within an Orthopaedic setting is limited and they plan to expand their collection, however, at its current stage it will not bring a huge amount to our practice.  The resuscitation collection would be applicable to our patient population, nonetheless, the rest would be more suited to an Oncology department than an Orthopaedic unit.

Reviewed by Matthew Ricks