Do you know how implementing informed consent procedures can protect you and your practice?
Hi, I’m attorney Sara Schroeder part of your legal team here at the American Acupuncture Council.
Many acupuncturists find the idea of discussing the informed consent to be intimidating, but instead, think of it as an opportunity to have an open discussion with your patients and build their trust in you as a professional.
Certain states require written informed consent from patients prior to treatment. Others require both written and verbal consent.
Besides being in compliance with your state licensing board, getting informed consent can also protect you in the case of a claim. While acupuncture is generally very safe, even the most careful and conscientious practitioner will have some patients who do not respond well to care. Certain risks are a real possibility.
Mostly every patient will sign an informed consent if presented and explained prior to treatment. Yet, these same patients, if not presented an informed consent, may claim in a lawsuit that had they been advised of the risk before treatment, then they never would have started care.
Follow these simple procedures on how to easily implement an informed consent in your office.
Have each new patient complete a professionally written informed consent prior to any examination or treatment. This is usually done with new patient paperwork managed by the front office.
For existing patients, who have not yet signed an informed consent, let them know that you are updating all patient information and give them the written informed consent to sign. We would also recommend these existing patients complete an updated history so that you are aware of any recent medical changes or changes in medication.During your consultation with each patient, go over the consent form. Once you have discussed the consent with the patient, ask if the patient has any questions. Once you have finished discussing the informed consent, note in the patient’s record that the informed consent was discussed.AAC has drafted a well-written informed consent with input from numerous legal and chiropractic professionals that we recommend you use. Contact us and we will send it to you.
The proper use of Informed consent is the first step in your patients knowing that you are a professional that cares and is therefore a valuable procedure to protect the patient, you and your practice.
If you have any questions about informed consent, call the AAC legal team and we would be happy to help you.
I’m Sara Schroeder and on behalf of myself and the entire legal team here at AAC, we look forward to a great future together.