GenCure leader speaks at grand rounds

January 10, 2019

Dr. Jessica Raley, Director of Community Engagement and the Apheresis Center at GenCure, recently gave a presentation to faculty, residents and medical students at the UT Long School of Medicine about communication barriers and strategies to improve informed consent.

Dr. Raley was invited to give her presentation by the Pediatrics Grand Rounds Committee. Her presentation, “The Struggle is Real: Examining Communication Barriers and Strategies to Improve Informed Consent,” identified common provider, patient and context barriers to conversations about informed consent.

Her talk was focused on her program of research navigating difficult healthcare conversations like bedside rounds, discharge summaries and patient handoffs.

Dr. Raley explained how providers experience three types of barriers during the consent and recruitment of patients and their loved ones.

Providers can experience self-barriers like anxiety, lack of confidence and lack of knowledge during consent conversations. They also experience patient barriers like mistrust, misinformation, and indifference during the consent conversation.

Finally, the context and staff working in a clinical environment influences the decision to consent. Furthermore, patient follow ups, technology, and the surrounding environment can hinder patient understanding of clinical trial participation or donation opportunities.

She also reviewed three main communication strategies to overcome such struggles:

  • ART cycles (Ask, Respond, Teach)
  • Teach using “Chunk and Check”
  • PEARLS (Partnership, Emotion, Apology & Appreciation, Respect, Legitimization, Support)

The strategy of ART cycles achieves mutual understanding during informed consent conversations. It uses open-ended questions to learn about a patient’s understanding of a process and then validate their response in order to identify takeaways for them to know and understand.

Chunk and Check breaks down medical information to make it clear for a patient. To check that the patient understood the information, the provider uses the teach-back technique where she or he asks the patient to repeat in his or her own words the information presented.

PEARLS are statements for patient and family concerns that convey the perception of empathy and build trust between patient and provider.

While Dr. Raley’s presentation focused on informed consent, the strategies also apply to conversations with potential marrow or tissue donors. Learn more about these strategies by watching her presentation.

Dr. Raley joined GenCure as the director of community engagement and community services in early November. In her position, she focuses on improving enrollment for the national marrow registry, cord blood, tissue donations and clinical trials.