Mutual Matters

The Process of Creating and Sharing Treatment Plans with Patients

Posted by Bill Kanich, MD on Oct 20, 2016 1:00:00 PM

We tend to think of “Informed Consent” as having the patient sign a form prior to performing surgery in the OR. This may be misleading, however, from several perspectives. 

  1. MMIC_treatment plan.jpgObtaining informed consent is a process, not a form. In fact, the form itself may not be required, but the process always is.
  2. Informed consent is a part of the shared decision-making process in which the provider comes to a shared understanding and plan with the patient, based on both the professional knowledge, judgment and experience of the provider and the knowledge and preferences of the patient.
  3. The shared decision-making process would ideally be performed anytime a treatment, either surgical or medical, is recommended, not just before major surgery.
  4. The signed consent form or permit is important for legal, regulatory and accreditation requirements; but does not take the place of the shared decision-making process. The form is further evidence that the process has taken place. 
  5. The process should be performed by the treating provider and include a discussion of the indications for the recommended treatment, the nature of the treatment, the risks of that treatment, alternatives to that treatment, and risks of not proceeding.

For more information about creating and sharing a treatment plan with your patients click the button below. 

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