"Electronic consent simplifies process and increases engagement"

15.03.21 05:25 PM By Jasmine Razvi

In a webinar last year hosted by Becker's Hospital Review, industry experts discussed how electronic informed consent streamlines provider workflows by saving time and resources. 

According to the industry experts on the panel, “paper-based consent processes are prone to issues and challenges” stating that the problems with paper are that 67% of consents are missing, 25% of nurses’ time is spent on paperwork and 50% report burnout from paperwork.³ Additional to this, they suggest that “transforming the process to digital targets these challenges and broadens opportunities for increased patient education.”

One of the main takeaways was that “electronic consent simplifies process and increases engagement”. As a digital health company and leader in the field of consent, we wanted to explore this further and discuss how Flynotes focuses on helping the industry achieve a simplified process. 

“Electronic consent simplifies the process”

Flynotes simplifies the consent process for both clinicians and patients. 

Simplifying the process for dentists when it comes to consent is straightforward with Flynotes. Flynotes acts as a virtual assistant to the dentist, and has proven to reduce inbound patient queries by phone by 52%. 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. 

When it comes to patients, we understand that they 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 as well as achieving a simplified process for the patient. 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. 

“Electronic consent increases 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.

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. Therefore, any engagement with the consent is fully audited. 

Click here to view the full webinar


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 http://www.gmc-uk.org/guidance/ethical_guidance/consent_guidance_index.asp

³Jackie Drees. 2020. Available online from: Informed consents are going digital – 5 ways electronic solutions are transforming provider, patient experience