Got Consent?Over the last decade, written patient consent forms have become the standard of care in dentistry, and our state dental boards now expect us to use written consents.  Proper use of consent forms also help manage patient expectations and better protect practitioners from some lawsuits.

 

It is not adequate to have a patient just sign a written consent form without explaining the consent issues to the patient and taking time to answer their questions.  Even if allowing the patient to read a consent form was legally acceptable, the time a patient takes to read some consent forms can take a considerable amount of time in our busy offices.

The standard of care also requires that the dentist be ultimately responsible for communicating consent issues, or training the team to communicate the basic issues with a follow-up by the dentist.  When I’m training an office in the use of systems and protocols, I teach the dental assistants to review these consent issues with customizable scripts from StreamDent, using the B.R.A.N. format.

Surgery Consent


By briefly discussing the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives and what occurs if the patient has No treatment in the scripts, the dental assistant or hygienist can quickly cover the most important areas of consent very efficiently with the patient.  When the doctor enters the room, a question such as “what questions do you have for me about the consent form Becky reviewed with you,” followed by amplifications or additions of any specific risks related to the patient’s specific circumstance.

 

At the end of the exam after the dentist has talked with the patient about their conditions, a handoff is then given to the dental assistant that will walk the patient to the business office. 

In many cases, instead of a 5-10 minute ordeal with paperwork, the consent forms can be reduced as little as 60-90 seconds. 

 To check out StreamDent’s consent form scripts in a web demo and see how StreamDent, the ultimate SOP manual, can help your entire office run more efficiently with less stress, call us today at 502-509-1570, or click here.