Wisconsin Medical College, Colorado Software Company Develop Online Informed Consent Program
The Medical College of Wisconsin and PrivaComp, a Colorado software company, have developed a program that will allow patients to provide informed consent for medical procedures online, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Under the program, physicians would give patients an entry code to access a confidential Web site that provides information about illnesses and specific treatment plans and allows them to send in questions. William Hendee, senior associate dean for research at the medical college, said patients can "take their time in their own homes" to study procedure information. Patients would consent to the procedure using an "electronic signature." The program could lower health care costs by reducing the time that physicians and office staff take to explain procedures, as well as the risks and benefits of treatments. According to Hendee, the program also will improve communication between patients and physicians. He said that many patients "have little knowledge" about their illnesses, adding that doctor visits "do not lead to patients' being fully informed and completely understanding their treatment plan" (Manning, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.