|June 2007 · Vol. 19, No. 06
Malpractice risk management: Be thorough—and involved—in obtaining informed consent
The seminal event is a focused discussion between you and your patient. There’s no substitute for “you.”
There’s no need to volunteer the fact that you’ve performed a procedure only a few times
Partner, Donnelly Nelson Depolo & Murray, Walnut Creek, Calif
You the physician—not a medical assistant, not a clerk, not a nurse—must initiate and complete the process of informed consent. You must personally obtain the patient’s consent before performing any operation, minor or major, in the office, surgical center, or operating room.
The setting should be an examining room or hospital room, not a waiting room, nursing station counter, or gurney in the operating room holding area. Exceptions occur, but considering how litigious society is today, these criteria represent the ideal.