The difference between consent and informed consent

The difference between consent and informed consent

In a recent search, a trending question on Google has been “what is the difference between consent and informed consent?” In general and as an overview, the British Journal of Medical Practitioners provides the basic difference between consent and informed consent as being “the patients' knowledge behind the consent decision.” 
Further to this, The Dental Defence Union (DDU) state that “You must seek consent before any investigation or treatment, and certain criteria must be fulfilled for consent from a patient to be valid.”

The differentiation of the added ‘informed’ part of consent, means that making sure that patients are “given enough information about the risks and benefits of all reasonable treatment options before treatment starts” (DDU). Essentially, by gaining ‘informed consent’ the patient is confirming that they have been given a sufficient amount of information prior to their procedure which is due to be carried out. According to the British Journal of Medical Practitioners, informed consent “requires the ability to understand and weigh up information”. 

Having access to all of this information allows for a patient to make an informed decision as to whether they will go ahead with their treatment, and which procedure specifically based on the risks and benefits provided by the clinician. 

So how does Flynotes help clinicians gain informed consent?

At Flynotes we understand patients are not normally dentists and therefore, our interactive consent process allows the patient to understand each area of consent, visualise any increased risks due to their medical history or medications, and ask questions. Providing patients with information that is easily legible and effortlessly navigable audits the interaction with the consent. 
Going one step further, Flynotes offers patients the option to view the alternative procedures available, with their own bespoke risks and benefits, to ensure that they are fully informed about their upcoming treatment. 

Flynotes acts as a virtual assistant to the dentist, using AI technology Flynotes sets out a consenting process for the patient that mirrors the natural conversion with the dentist. In just a few clicks, Flynotes creates a tailored consent process that allows the patient to clearly understand all aspects of consent (as set out by the Montgomery ruling). 

As such, Flynotes helps dentists by assisting them in taking steps towards becoming ‘legally compliant’ when gaining informed consent before a procedure. We understand that clinicians are likely to face capacity and patient proxy situations, therefore you are still able to gain an informed bespoke consent when using the Patient Proxy functionality offered in Flynotes. We have a separate blog post which discusses Capacity and Patient Proxy in Dentistry, let us know what you think.

British Journal of Medical Practitioners (BJMP), 2009:2(2), 50-54 
Dental Defence Union (DDU), Guide to consent to dental treatment. Available from: