Patient power: 2014 Patient Information Forum conference

Luto launches unique User Testing service for NHS Trusts and Charities

I recently attended the Patient Information Forum’s annual conference in Birmingham along with two other members of the Luto team. This year’s conference was entitled ‘Information and support: putting patients truly at the centre of healthcare’. Patients are a fundamental part of Luto’s work because everything we do is for the patient.

The day got off to an excellent start with a powerful video and presentation by Michael Seres. I’d encourage you to watch the video, I guarantee it will be thought provoking. Michael’s personal story demonstrates the true power of the patient. Luto involves ‘expert patients’ in all of the work we do. We call them ‘experts’ because they have experience of a condition or a medical device used to treat a condition that we are writing about. They are a valuable source of information and help us create truly patient-focused communications by reviewing materials.

Throughout the day we heard from a great line up of speakers on the main stage and in the in-depth sessions. The presentation by Nick Carty, a Consultant General Surgeon from Salisbury District Hospital and Lisa Sullivan, a Barrister, about informed consent was fascinating. Nick involves his patients in his ‘circle of consent’ which allows him to understand how much knowledge the patient has gained through the consent process. Lisa provided an interesting insight into what the law states about consent. Luto has undertaken research on informed consent in clinical trials and we can assist Trusts in improving their consent information.

Social media helped to spread the word to those not only in the room but to people who couldn’t attend. It was reported that the conference trended on Twitter too! You can catch up on the highlights from the day by searching on Twitter for #Pifconf2014.

There were many information professionals present at the conference, including members of the Information Standard and organisations looking to join, so it was a fitting place to talk to people about our new User Testing service for NHS Trusts and Charities.

User Testing is a valuable method of checking how users find and understand key information in your materials. User Testing itself does not improve the quality of the information. It should be employed in a formative, iterative way to identify and rectify readability problems within materials, including patient information leaflets and other patient information. It is possible for badly written leaflets to pass testing where the methodology has been poorly applied. That’s why it’s important to seek professional support when designing your testing activities and conducting User Testing.

Luto provides an affordable User Testing service to compliment the Information Standard’s requirement to User Test information with patients. As part of this service, Luto can conduct a full review of materials prior to testing, incorporating our unique ‘Audience Design Step’ which engages real users in the content and design. Information materials will also be reviewed by a team of information design specialists, healthcare professionals, academics and graphic designers, before User Testing is conducted in face-to-face interviews with targeted users.

The service is also ideal for Trusts and Charities that are not part of the Information Standard. Our bespoke User Testing service can provide expert feedback on their information materials, ensuring ease of use and readability for the patient.

For more information about our new User Testing service for NHS Trusts and Charities and to see how we can help your organisation, please get in touch with Wayne Middleton.