Healthcare practitioners collect client consent forms from their patients to show that they have reached a treatment plan the client understands and agrees with. Respecting a person’s bodily autonomy is more than merely a best practice. It’s a legal requirement. These crucial documents show that the patient has discussed the procedure or treatment, understands it, and voluntarily agrees to have it done. Additionally, the form indicates that the client knows the risks and benefits and agrees to follow the doctor’s orders for aftercare and other vital information. Using a professional template to create a client consent form is an efficient way to ensure you get all the correct information and consent from the patient.
What Is a Client Consent Form?
A client consent form is an essential legal document that healthcare professionals are required to provide to their patients before performing medical treatment and services. These forms are designed to protect both the patient and the professional as they outline the medical procedures to be undertaken, the potential risks associated with those procedures, and any other important information the patient needs to know to give informed consent. They may also specify what a practitioner can do during a treatment or procedure. By having clients sign this document, healthcare professionals can ensure that their actions are fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.
While some documents contain a complete list of common risks, benefits, care instructions, and more, a truncated version is often easier to use. When creating the shorter style of a client consent form, the patient must already have pre-existing knowledge of the requisite information to agree. This comes in the form of reading materials, discussions, and answers to any questions they have that are separate from the consent document. When there is a lot of information, it’s often easier to present it outside the client consent form. In this case, the client consent form contains more concise statements of assent that show their comprehension and indicate they can provide informed consent. By signing, they are giving that consent.
Why Is Client Consent Form Important?
Client consent forms serve several purposes. In addition to being a legally required part of the medical documentation process, they also help ensure that the doctor is protected legally. The consent form states clearly that the individual who signed it knows what will happen and agrees. Here are a few other things the client consent form does.
- Respects the clients’ rights to bodily autonomy
- Proves that the client understood the risks and side effects of the treatment
- States that the patient has given an accurate and complete medical history to the best of their ability
- Shows that they know it’s not possible to know every potential outcome and treatments are not guaranteed
- Indicates if/that they may need further treatment to achieve their desired outcome
- States that they have agreed, not only to the treatment but to follow the doctors’ orders in performing aftercare, which may include follow-up visits, medication, keeping a wound clean and bandaged, or any other post-treatment instructions
- Finally, signing the client consent form shows that the person seeking treatment has read and understood all the information and asked any questions they needed to make an informed decision.
Essential Elements of a Client Consent Form
The essential elements of a client consent form include information on the medical provider, the agreements and consent itself, and, most importantly, the signature from the client. Below we’ve laid out all the components of these critical documents in the order they generally appear on the page. However, the assent statements do not have to go in any particular order so long as they are all present.
- Business Name or Logo
- Business address and contact information
- The title “Client Consent Form,” in large font, bold print to ensure the reader knows instantly what they are looking at
- Introductory agreement statement that says I (the client) authorize (the medical practitioner or business) to perform the treatment or procedure outlined in the form
- The recommended treatment/procedures should be listed by name with enough detail to make sure there’s no question about what the patient is consenting to
- Assent statements should include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following- Patient has given a complete medical history to the best of their ability, they understand the procedure they are consenting to, outcomes are not guaranteed, and further treatment may be necessary at additional cost, they understand the risks, hazards, and potential side effects of the procedure and voluntarily agree to have it done, they have read everything and know that they are responsible for aftercare.
- The client’s name, date, and signature belong at the bottom. These are the part of the form that makes it legally binding.
Pro Tip: Depending on the complexity of a procedure and your local laws and requirements, some medical consent forms may take up several pages. The example here is intended for most simple treatments and telemedicine. We offer longer medical consent form templates as well. Feel free to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Below we’ve included some of the most frequently asked questions about client consent forms. You’ll find information on HIPAA consent forms and other essential information to help create your consent documents.
A client consent form is a legal document that outlines a patient’s permission for their healthcare provider to carry out a specific treatment or procedure. Depending on their requirements, a healthcare provider may issue either a long-form or short-form version of the consent form. This document ensures that all parties are fully informed of any necessary information beforehand and that they are legally bound to the agreed-upon arrangements. This ensures both the safety and privacy of the patient and provides enough information to justify any decisions that might arise from this particular procedure.
Through a HIPAA Patient Consent form, patients consent to allow their doctors to access and share vital information about the client’s specific health conditions that may be needed in making informed healthcare decisions. These forms allow patients to provide permission for physicians and other entities to share confidential, otherwise protected information with other authorized parties and serve as a record of assurance that the terms of privacy were met by both parties. It is also vital in ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations which are put into place for security purposes.
A client consent form is a legal document used in healthcare settings to protect the healthcare provider and the patient. It’s a written agreement between the two parties that specifies what treatment or procedure is being performed, along with its associated risks and potential benefits. The form also outlines how results will be handled and sometimes includes applicable payment methods, aftercare, or other vital information. However, it can also have assent statements showing the patient has read or discussed this information separately and agreed to the terms. A client consent form must be fully understood before the client signs, as it ensures that everyone involved is on the same page with respect to both rights and responsibilities. Using a high-quality professional template to create these vital documents helps ensure that you have included everything the client agrees to and shows that they clearly comprehend what they are signing.