The lack of a properly executed patient informed consent is a significant area where malpractice claims can come into play.
It is important to be certain the patient has consented to whatever test(s) or procedure(s) the clinician has recommended. It is essential to communicate effectively. The patient must receive a proper explanation of the risks inherent in having or declining the recommended test(s) or procedure(s).
Verify-IMI includes an extensive telephonic informed consent system (TICS). There are currently 28 informed consents for obstetrics. As a patient proceeds through her pregnancy, Verify-IMI analyzes her demographics data, physical examination and laboratory data. All of this data is processed through over 650 proprietary algorithms that determine if any risks are identified. If risks are identified, the system alerts the clinician and generates specific suggestions that are based on evidence based medicine. Verify-IMI will also suggest that the patient execute one, or more, of the TICS. For example, if a patient is identified as high risk for shoulder dystocia, Verify-IMI will prompt the patient to execute the TIC for shoulder dystocia.
The patient is given a toll free number to call. It will ask for her preferred language and accordingly a 15 to 20 minute interactive presentation on the subject is conducted. During the course of the TICS presentation, the patient is queried as to gauge her understanding. If the patient does not understand or would like to further discuss the topic or a specific issue with the clinician, the patient enters the corresponding number. At the conclusion of the TIC, a copy is sent to the clinician’s office. The summary of the executed TIC is then discussed with the patient and signed by both the patient and clinician.
Legal experts agree that using the TIC system will make it very unlikely for a jury to believe that the patient did not understand what she was signing.