Monday, May 17, 2010

Informed Consent

Some facilities are giving surgical patients individualized risk estimates. Will cost and quality data be the next elements included in informed consent documents?
By Kevin B. O'Reilly, amednews staff .

Informed consent has long been a bedrock principle of medical ethics, but the form intended to document a patient's understanding of a proposed intervention is too often written at a college reading level and is ambiguous about risks. Some doctors are out to change that, bringing a personalized medical approach to informed consent. Nine medical centers around the country -- including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit -- are testing an informed-consent process for patients undergoing nonemergent cardiac catheterization and potential angioplasty. The Web-based program draws on a national cardiovascular database to predict individualized risks of death, bleeding or restenosis. Proponents of the effort say informed consent should include even more data, telling patients about cost, alternative treatments, and doctors' and hospitals' quality performance. [...]

Read the entire article in American Medical News:


Thought you might be interested - this new approach to informed consent speaks directly to personalized risk levels and apparently tries to do away with all the small-font, complex wording that no one reads or comprehends. Should be a hopeful sign that more changes may be around the corner!


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