Using Informed Consent to Improve the Safety of Care for Patients with Limited English Proficiency


To help ensure patients' safety and meaningful participation in health care decisions, it is critical that physicians obtain their fully informed consent. The National Quality Forum has recommended that health care providers ask patients to recount what they have agreed to as a way to confirm that informed consent has indeed been given. Implementing this practice is challenging, however, particularly for providers who serve patients with low literacy and limited English proficiency. Focusing on individuals undergoing invasive surgical procedures, this project will address obstacles to adoption of this practice and develop recommendations to surmount them. Activities will include: 1) self-assessments by providers who regularly obtain confirmation of informed consent, 2) interviews with providers who do not follow this practice; 3) a case study examining the experiences of providers following the practice; and 4) a workshop to discuss experiences of early adopters of the practice. Findings will be used to develop a guide to obtaining informed consent for dissemination to health plan administrators, hospital personnel, and outpatient surgery providers.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
National Quality Forum
Principal Investigator:
Robyn Nishimi, Ph.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 11, 2003

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