AHRQ's Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training Modules for Health Care Leaders and Professionals

Many individuals do not understand the benefits, harms, and risks of treatment, even after signing a consent form. This raises patient safety and liability concerns, and runs counter to person-centered care. AHRQ has developed two interactive training modules that teach clear, comprehensive, engaging communication strategies that hospitals and clinical teams can use to ensure that people understand the benefits, harms, and risks of their alternatives, including the option of not having any treatment. AHRQ has also developed an implementation guide to provide guidance for implementing the training modules using a quality improvement (QI) approach.

How to Access the Modules

The modules can be taken for free continuing education credit on The Joint Commission's learning management system for hospitals accredited by The Joint Commission. To learn more about taking the modules on The Joint Commission's learning management system, visit: The Joint Commission—Improving the Informed Consent Process in the Hospital Setting. To obtain the modules to run on your own learning management system, email your request to: healthliteracy@ahrq.hhs.gov.

Modules Content

AHRQ's Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Health Care Leaders addresses improvements that can be made on the hospital level. Health care leaders who take the 1.5 hour module will learn:

  • The principles of informed consent.
  • How to craft a clear and comprehensive informed consent policy.
  • What to consider when establishing libraries of easy-to-understand informed consent forms and high quality decision aids.
  • How to remove communication barriers.
  • The importance of establishing efficient workflows.

AHRQ's Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Health Care Professionals teaches a total of 10 strategies for communicating clearly, presenting choices, and helping individuals make an informed choice. Health care professionals who take the 1.5 hour module will learn:

  • Clear communication strategies, including using health literacy universal precautions and removing language barriers.
  • Strategies for presenting choices comprehensively, engaging patients and families, and explaining benefits, harms, and risks of all options.

The module must be run on a learning management system. AHRQ has created several documents that will let you view the module's content. These files are not the interactive training and do not include the pre- and post-quiz that must be taken to obtain continuing education credit.

Download screenshots of the leaders module: Training for Health Care Leaders [PDF File, 11 MB].

Download screenshots of the health care professional module: Training for Health Care Professionals [PDF File, 7.0 MB].

Download the audio script of the leaders module: HTML Version (PDF File, 152 KB).

Download the audio script of the health care professional module: HTML Version (PDF File, 185 KB).

To obtain a PowerPoint slide deck of either module, consisting of screen shots of the module and the audio script in the Notes section of each slide, email your request to: healthliteracy@ahrq.hhs.gov

Implementation Guide

Implementation Guide for AHRQ's Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice Training Modules is a companion to the training modules. It provides guidance for implementing the training modules using a quality improvement approach. This guide offers ideas and suggestions for overcoming challenges to getting staff to take the modules and for putting the recommended improvement strategies into practice smoothly. The guidance is based on the implementation experiences of four hospitals that participated in a pilot test of the training modules, and on the experiences of other hospitals implementing quality improvements.

Access the implementation guide as a Web page or PDF File [689.41 KB].

Page last reviewed February 2017
Page originally created December 2016
Internet Citation: AHRQ's Making Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training Modules for Health Care Leaders and Professionals. Content last reviewed February 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/hospital/informedchoice/index.html