Otolaryngologists are likely to see some changes in the way informed consent is handled at the hospitals where they perform surgery. Recent changes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), along with Joint Commission rules, have prompted many hospitals and health systems to get more involved in what previously fell firmly in the physician’s purview.
Explore this issue:August 2010
The idea of “informed consent” is often associated with the piece of paper signed before a procedure rather than the continuum of communication that happens during the course of the medical care of patients. The new guidelines do not necessarily change that process, but they emphasize the patient education aspect of informed consent and encourage physicians and hospitals to make sure patients fully understand their options and risks.
According to CMS’ Survey Protocol, Regulations and Interpretive Guidelines for Hospitals, revised on June 5, 2009, hospitals are required to ensure that “patients or their representatives are given the information and disclosures needed to make an informed decision.” The CMS guidelines also assign hospitals the responsibility to ensure that informed consent documentation is in the patient’s record prior to surgery.| | | Next → | Single Page