Patient Consent: Promoting Positive Engagement

Patient Consent: Promoting Positive Engagement

Doyle et al. state “the importance of securing patient engagement as an element of valid consent to treatment”₁. Flynotes both promotes and encourages patient engagement on bespoke consents with the option of allowing patients to ask questions regarding their treatment. There has been talks regarding the “positive engagement” with patients, and the “long-term positive clinical outcomes”₁ it can have on their overall dental care and treatment. 

Once a consent is completed by the clinician, patients are able to review it at home, going through their bespoke treatment consent and raising any questions they might have. Flynotes makes this very accessible for both the patient and your practice team. 

The patient’s view

This is what a patient sees within their treatment consent. The question box appears at the bottom of each section, this allows for the patient to ask specific questions relating to that specific section of the consent i.e. questions around the identified risk(s) of the treatment.

The practice team’s view

Once the consent has been reviewed by the patient, and their questions have been asked, your practice team will receive an email notification alerting you that a consent has been returned with a question(s). The status of all outgoing consents will change dependent on activity, this can be monitored within the treatment dashboard

A member of the practice team is then able to view the question(s) raised by the patient

It is highly recommended to phone the patient and address the questions raised and allow for your team to follow GMC Guidance of working “in partnership with patients” by listening and responding to the patient’s “concerns and preferences”₂. Flynotes supports the clinician by encouraging engagement, purposefully not offering the option to respond digitally to the patient’s question.

This has been prevalent since the landmark Montgomery v Lanarkshire case, which identified the importance of gaining informed consent.

If you want to learn more about patient engagement when consenting, book in for a bespoke Training Refresher with Nadine below:
Training Refresher

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British Medical Association (BMA). Medical students ethics tool kit: Consent for treatment - adults with capacity. 2018. Available from:   

Bright, E., D'Cruz, L. & Milne, E. Consent – an update. Br Dent J 222, 655–657 (2017).

₁Doyle C, Lennox L, Bell D . A systematic review of evidence on the links between patient experience and clinical safety and effectiveness. BMJ Open 2013; 3: pii: e001570. 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001570 

₂General Medical Council. Consent: patients and doctors making decision together. 2008. Available online at 

McCrory, P., Lewis, J. Patient engagement: Successful strategies. Br Dent J 222, 322 (2017).