Incomplete informed consent ranks right after missed or delayed diagnoses as the largest risk factor for medical practices, according to Ernest Sussman, a practicing urologist who is also risk manager for Scrubs Mutual Assurance Company Risk Retention Group.
The group provides long-term medical liability insurance coverage to its member physicians. However, it also includes as a member benefit a subscription to an automated informed consent application (iMedConsent, Dialog Medical, Atlanta) to make it easier to document consent discussions within workflow.
By making sure patients have adequate time to: read through their consent forms, discuss them with their providers, and sign them to indicate full comprehension, Sussman hopes to lower his group's exposure to malpractice risk. His goal is for all of Scrubs Urologic Surgeons to reach 100 percent compliance with the automated consent application.
"We are all in this together," he said. "Each physician's actions affect the financial solvency of the whole risk retention group."
-- By Fay Rozovsky
October 1, 2011
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