Two of the most important words in the field of medicine are “informed consent.” Although the exact standards vary from state to state, the basis of this cornerstone of the doctor-patient relationship is always the same:
- The doctor must provide his or her diagnosis and explain what may happen if the patient’s condition remains untreated.
- The doctor must explain how his or her recommended treatment works and what the potential risks and benefits are.
- The doctor must also bring up any viable alternative treatments and describe the benefits and risks which come with them.
Only when a patient knows everything about his or her condition and treatment options can he or she provide an informed consent, a decision on what treatment to pursue (if any) based on a doctor’s recommendation rather than a doctor’s orders. Without this knowledge a patient may not make the best decision, and if a doctor fails to provide it he or she could get in some seriously hot water.
Unfortunately, doctors sometimes have trouble when it comes to explaining everything they need to. Some patients have more complicated diagnoses than others, and some patients also need a more thorough explanation to fully understand their options. But with all the paperwork, reports, and test results doctors have to plow through on an average day, they can’t always spare as much face time with their patients as the patients need. Not only are these brief visits unsatisfying for both patients and physicians, they also open the door to some potential legal trouble later on.
Fortunately, ProScribe exists to solve impossible situations like these. Our service can provide your workplace with scribes, medical administrative assistants who can help both doctors and nurses focus on caregiving by filling out the paperwork, manning the phones, submitting and collecting test results, and otherwise handling the jobs that need to get done but don’t require a medical license to perform. This frees up doctors to spend as much time with their patients as they need to get a truly informed consent along with a completely satisfying experience at the doctor’s office.