Start with a phrase like, “It’s my job to explain things clearly. To make sure I’m doing a good job, I ask every patient to tell me what you understand about telehealth and how it might help you.”
“Chunk and Check.” Don’t wait until the end to start teach-back. Chunk out information into small segments and have your patient teach it back. For example, ask patients, “Could you tell me in your own words what will happen to you if you decide you don’t want a telehealth visit?” Repeat several times during the discussion.
Clarify and check again. If teach-back uncovers a misunderstanding, explain things again using a different approach. Ask patients to teach-back again until they are able to correctly describe the information in their own words. If they parrot your words or read the form back to you, they may not have understood.
Before asking patients if they agree to a telehealth visit
Ask patients if they have questions. You could say, “We covered so much information, I’m sure you have questions. What would you like to hear more about?”
Avoid asking questions that will elicit yes and no answers, such as, “Do you have any questions?” and “Do you understand?”
Offer to read the form aloud to all patients. For example, you could say, “I’d like to read aloud a summary of our talk about telehealth.”
After the consent discussion, document it
Document patients’ ability to teach the information back correctly in the medical record.
If patients do not consent, note it in their medical records.
If patients consent:
Mail them a copy of the consent form to keep.
Obtain patients’ consent verbally and note it in the medical record. If you need a signed form, use your patient portal or the mail to get a signature.
If patients can sign the consent form in your patient portal, ask whether they are able to access the portal. If they are, direct them to staff who can walk them through how to consent online.
If patients can’t use the patient portal, mail consent forms (one to sign and return, one to keep) and a stamped return envelope, and ask patients to sign and mail back the form.
You do not need to wait to get a consent form signed. You can have telehealth visits with your patients based on their giving their consent verbally.
Telehealth Consent Teach-back Documentation
Name of Patient: _____________________________________________ Date: _____________
Name of Clinician: _____________________________________________________________
Name of Interpreter: ___________________________________________________________
(If patient does not speak English very well, use an interpreter)
Was the patient able to teach-back the information in their own words?