Q What is the nurse’s role in the informed consent process, and what key elements reduce liability?

A Florence Wang, MD, Esq, CPHRM, and Barbara Sheppard, MSN, RN, CCRN, reply:

A signed consent form represents successful completion of the informed consent process. As health care providers, we might consider completion of the consent form to be a mundane task that can delay start times, worry patients, and frustrate providers. As critical care nurses dealing with especially vulnerable patients and distressed families, your advocacy for patients to be fully informed partners in the shared decision-making process optimizes patients’ goals and outcomes while mitigating the care team’s legal liability. To avoid such stress and mitigate your legal liability, we attempt to refresh the pertinent who, what, when, why, and how of the informed consent process.

Whereas informed consent documentation satisfies a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement,2–...

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