Joint Commission offers courses to improve informed consent process

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality teamed up with the Joint Commission and Abt Associates to offer free online courses for hospital leaders and others to learn how to improve the patient informed consent process.

Last year, surveyors with the Joint Commission found informed consent-related compliance issues at more than 500 hospitals.

"Even after signing a consent form, many patients do not fully understand the nature, benefits and alternatives of their treatments," said Salome Chitavi, PhD, project director with the Joint Commission's Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation. "After looking at the data, we identified a need to help hospitals improve upon their existing informed consent policies and to make informed consent discussions with patients more effective and engaging. It is important that informed consent is more than just a signature on a form."

The courses feature two modules, one for leadership and one for healthcare providers.

The leadership module reviews what informed consent policy should look like and outlines a culture change strategy to support high-quality informed consent policy.

The module for healthcare providers gives strategies and tools to improve the informed consent process through communication and patient engagement.

Each interactive module offers two continuing education credits.

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