Publication Agreements and Endorsements

EIDO has a publication agreement with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the College logo is displayed on EIDO's fact sheets.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, formed in 1927, is a non-profit organisation training surgeons and maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand. The College’s purpose is to be the unifying force for surgery in Australia and New Zealand, with FRACS standing for excellence in surgical care. EIDO’s agreement with the College commenced at the beginning of 2008. The patient information sheets are also exclusively endorsed by the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd), Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth), British Association of Paediatric Surgeons (BAPS) and British Association of Day Surgery (BADS).

The Australian & New Zealand Society of Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) has also teamed up with EIDO Healthcare Australia to promote patient consent and communication through the endorsement of EIDO’s cardiothoracic fact sheets and a bronchoscopy animation in EIDO’s digital library of patient information resources. Aubrey Almeida, President of the Australian & New Zealand Society of Cardiac & Thoracic Surgeons, said,

“Most surgeons and hospitals provide patients with information sheets to explain what treatment is proposed, but evidence and guidelines can change frequently. By taking away the worry of maintaining revisions and providing a consistent and clear writing style the EIDO leaflets save time, reduce medico-legal risks and ensure that patients are aware of the risks and benefits of surgery. It is for these reasons we are happy to endorse EIDO’s cardiothoracic information sheets.”

Partnering with Consumers

We have taken steps to ensure consumer input in the development of EIDO's fact sheets and have received official endorsement of EIDO's library from the Australian Patients Association and Health Consumers’ Council WA (HConC)

The National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) require that “the health service organisation ensures that its informed consent processes comply with legislation and best practice”.

  • Standard 1 – Clinical Governance stresses the need for systems that minimise risk. Embedding well-designed, evidence-based patient information sheets in the organisation’s patient care pathway can make a valuable contribution to this by ensuring consistency of messages being conveyed at the clinician-patient interface and creating dissonance within the clinician when the approved content of the patient information sheets is at odds with their own idiosyncratic approach. In designing our fact sheets, we have been mindful of EIDO’s role in reminding clinicians of safe, evidence-based practice each time they are shared with a patient.
  • Standard 2 – Partnering with Consumers provides the framework for active partnership with consumers by health service organisations and requires that consumers be consulted on patient information distributed by organisations.

The Australian Patients Association (APA) is an independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to championing and protecting the rights and interests of all patients and improving overall patient care and health outcomes.

A primary aim of the APA is to educate patients about the risks involved in surgical procedures, and for them to become more heavily involved in managing their own health and health care decisions. The availability of EIDO’s fact sheets furthers these aims and it is for these reasons that the APA endorses EIDO’s library.

The APA and HConC review and provide feedback on EIDO’s fact sheets. Specifically, the questions asked when reviewing each patient information sheets are:

  • Whether the general structure and layout of the fact sheets is suitable,
  • Whether the level of language has been pitched correctly, and
  • Whether there is any coercive element in the way the treatment choices (including the null option) are presented.

One of EIDO’s indirect consumer input channels is via a website that we have set up at Here patients can anonymously share their thoughts about the fact sheets they were provided and their comments are put forward for consideration by EIDO’s Board. Every one of EIDO’s fact sheets has a link on the cover page to this website.

Plain English Campaign

The Plain English Campaign (PEC) is an independent group fighting for clear language in public communication and is an integral part of EIDO's development process.

The PEC opposes gobbledygook, jargon and legalese. EIDO’s fact sheets are only released once they have been given a unique PEC Crystal Mark. This means that each fact sheet is written in language that the intended audience can understand and act upon from a single reading. Reviewing and editing by the PEC has been incorporated as a pre-release step. This is a fundamental policy and is such a vital part of EIDO’s business that all in-house proof readers are PEC trained.

Using the industry standard readability test, the Gunning Fog Index, EIDO’s fact sheets have been measured at a reading age of 7 to 9 years of age. This low score is achieved by writing fact sheets that are unambiguous, contain low syllable words and have concise sentences and paragraphs. Audits have identified that 100% of patients found EIDO’s fact sheets “easy to understand”.

Authoring Guidelines

EIDO’s fact sheets are written by qualified and practising consultant surgeons and physicians, with input from other relevant health professionals such as specialist nurses and midwives.

The authoring team includes Australian and international consultant surgeons. They only write fact sheets in the areas in which they specialise.

Authoring guidelines have been developed to ensure a consistent, high standard of research to support the writing of the fact sheets. Only high quality sources of evidence are used to support the key statements. These sources of evidence include systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials. This is particularly important for risk statements and in quantification of risks. Sometimes published observational studies are used but unpublished data, unethical statements and personal opinion are avoided. Typical evidence sources include the Cochrane library, Medline, CINAHL, ANZDATA, Melbourne Vascular Surgical Audit Program and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. References for all of the fact sheets are available on request.