Empathetics: Informed Consent and the Pre-operative Conversation

Empathetics self-paced online courses are based on extensive and novel clinical research conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital. The courses provide insights into how humans process emotions and teaches practical attitudes and skills to improve interpersonal communications. Each course includes video with rich and interactive content.

This course explains the importance of empathy in clinician-patient relations.  It lists the ways that providing informed consent during the pre-op conversation improves the patient, patient delegates’ and provider experience. The course also defines and provides the legal justification for informed consent and describes the factors that influence patient uncertainty and anxiety as well as identify facial expressions as a way to determine the appropriate, empathic response to patient anxiety and other concerns.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:
  • Be able to explain the importance of informed consent as the basis or modern medical ethics
  • Explain informed consent as a core clinical procedure
  • Identify how informed consent improves the healthcare experience for patients, their surrogates, and healthcare providers
  • Understand the factors that influence management of patient expectations, uncertainty, and anxiety
  • Demonstrate best practices in all pre-operative conversations with patients and their surrogates
  • Understand the relationship between informed consent and risk of medical malpractice litigation

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