Third Party Consent

Criterion C2.2 – Presence of a third party during a consultation C2.2 A

Our practice obtains and documents the prior consent of a patient when the practice introduces a third party to the consultation.This indicator has caused a lot of healthy discussions with practices I assist with accreditation and in our practices.

We have nursing students and will soon be having medical students. We have a sign at reception when nursing students are onsite. Our reception advise patients when they make an appointment and present at the practice. Before any procedure in the treatment room the patients are asked if they consent to the nursing student observing. If the patient consents, we ask them to sign our third-party consent form. This is then scanned and documented in the patient’s health record.

Our third party consent form states the types of third parties that can be present and is stored on KnowNow for easy access for the practice team.

Here’s an example of third party consent.

A practice had an incident where a disgruntled patient decided to write a letter informing them of their displeasure. The remarks were not very nice and were directed at a particular GP. The letter was shown to the GP and they were obviously upset. The patient had booked an appointment for the next day to see the GP. The GP decided that they would discuss the letter at the consult. The patient’s tone in the letter was threatening and the GP was concerned about being alone with the patient. It was suggested that maybe it would be best if there was a third party present only with the consent of the patient. The practice checked with their legal team who agreed and gave them direction on how to deal with situation.

The patient presented and was explained the situation. The patient agreed for the nurse to sit in the consultation. The patient signed the third party consent form, it was documented in the patient’s health record that the patient consented, who the third party was and the consent form was scanned into the patients record.

Could this be over the top? Maybe? However, if it ever comes to he said she said, the practice have it in writing and is documented.

If you are not sure whether you should obtain written consent, I suggest always check with your medical defence organisation.

I hope this helps! Would you like to know more about how Medical Directions can assist you and your practice with accreditation? Give Kath a call on 0413 209 486.