Why are Consent Forms Important in Dentistry?

Apr 12, 2017

A dental practice, like any business, must have procedures in place that will enable it to be protected from a legal standpoint should the need arise.

One such procedure is the process of how a practice handles dental informed consent forms. It’s an important, although sometimes overlooked aspect that should be reviewed from time to time.

Having written documentation on file has become a necessary step not only for practice liability, but for the safety of their patients as well. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when discussing your consents:

 

1.Proper documentation is more important than ever in today’s mobile society.

People today are traveling more than ever. Because of this fact, there is a good chance that a dental practice may receive one-time patients. Despite their short time as a patient, however, it is still vital for the patient to sign consent form for dental treatment. Having these signatures on file will ensure that the practice is protected in the off chance that a patient returns with a complaint.

 

2.Use technology to manage documentation.

Utilizing digital technology gives a practice multiple options in relation to how documents are stored. By keeping new patient dental form in an electronic format, the doctors and staff are able to quickly access any legal forms with a touch of a button.

 

3.Eliminate the risk

After considering the need for various legal forms, the next question may be how best to implement dental consent forms strategy. One option is mConsent, an iPad app that not only digitizes all paper clinic forms, but also integrates with practice management systems (Eaglesoft, Dentrix, Open Dental, Epic, etc). A critical feature of mConsent is the ability for the patient to electronically sign the document with their finger (the signature is attached to the form in the same area in which they signed), thus removing any doubt that the patient has read and signed the form.