Improving the Informed Consent Process in the Hospital Setting | Joint Commission
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Saturday 8:31 CST, March 25, 2017

Improving the Informed Consent Process in the Hospital Setting

Additional Information

AHRQ Resources

Resources connected with the modules are available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. They include:

  • Implementation Guide for AHRQ’s Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice Training Modules
  • Screenshots and audio scripts of the modules

To obtain the modules to run on your own learning management system, or PowerPoint slide shows of the modules, email your request to:

All too frequently, patients do not understand the risks, benefits and alternatives of their treatments even after signing a consent form. To improve the informed consent process, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) engaged The Joint Commission and Abt Associates to provide guidance through free online courses for hospital leadership and other health care professionals.

These online and enduring “start now, finish later” modules that aim to provide guidance to hospital leadership and healthcare providers to improve the Informed Consent process. Both modules include multiple work sheets and downloadable resources. Available FREE to our accredited organizations, both modules offer 2 CE Credits and include multiple work sheets and downloadable resources.

 Enroll Now

Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Health Care Leaders

The Leaders Module goes through each topic that an informed consent policy should address and gives examples from a fictional hospital of what each part of the policy could look like.

  • Learn the principles of informed consent,
  • Learn strategies and system changes to nurture a hospital culture that supports a high-quality policy of informed consent, and
  • Know how to launch an informed consent quality improvement initiative at your hospital.

Target Audience:

  • Hospital executives and department/unit leaders;
  • Hospital Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Officers
  • Risk managers

 Enroll Now

Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Health Care Professionals

Explore communication and patient engagement strategies and tools designed to help improve the informed consent process.

Learn the principles of informed consent,

  • Understand strategies for clear communication about choices during the informed consent process,
  • Learn strategies for presenting choices (e.g., showing structured decision aids, encouraging questions), and
  • Know how to appropriately document and confirm informed consent, and to work as part of a team.

Target Audience:

  • Physicians
  • Other health care providers involved in the informed consent process*
  • Administrative staff (e.g., registration, billing)

    *LIP = Licensed Independent Practitioners; Nurses (including nurse educators) allied health professionals (e.g. medical assistants, technicians, therapists, qualified medical interpreters)

Please email with any questions or log in and IT issues.

Each educational module is approved for 2.0 Continuing Education Credit from:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
  • American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • American Dental Association CERP (ADA-CERP)
  • International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

CE/CME/CEU is available for the completion of the modules.
In order to claim the credits you must:

1. Individually register for the module
2. Complete the module
3. Complete the post course evaluation
4. Score a passing grade on the post course exam


Why focus on Informed Consent?

  • Over the course of 2016, Joint Commission surveyors identified compliance issues related to informed consent in over 500 hospitals.
  • Since 2010, there have been 48 reports related to informed consent in The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event database.

Testimonials from hospital and unit leaders:

  • “Our system, potentially like yours, has had a historical difficulty assigning ownership to informed consent…We were (prior to joining the project) in the middle of a 2 year discussion of exactly what Informed Consent meant, and who it belonged to. Participation in the project helped us navigate that discussion.”
  • “Along the way, we had a few situations in which we demonstrated that we didn’t know all that we thought we did. Through education or training, continued discussion or questions – we found some of our clinicians did not feel strong in this area.”
  • For us these modules revealed documentation issues, “we now realize, we’re not doing this very well.”

Course Related Questions