Informed Consent

eAlert 61c96844-dbfe-4e1c-9b11-a132cee0264b

<p>While informed consent requirements have been a part of health care for many years, the process is not as effective as it should be, particularly for patients with limited English proficiency or low health literacy. In practice, informed consent is too often limited to obtaining the patient's signature on a legal document, rather than being a true discussion about the prescribed treatment, its potential complications, and alternative therapies available.<br><br>With Commonwealth Fund support, the National Quality Forum (NQF) has just published a report, <a href=""… Patient Safety Through Informed Consent for Patients with Limited Health Literacy,</a> that can help hospitals overcome barriers to effective informed consent, and provide safer care in the process.<br><Br>The method known as "teach back," in which patients are asked to recount information during the informed consent process in order to demonstrate their level of understanding, is the core element in NQF's recommendations for providers. Accompanying the report is a user's guide for health care professionals that describes steps for implementing this practice and using it on a daily basis.</p>