23 August 2018
Can your adult patient consent? A new app for health practitioners
The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) has released a new app to help doctors, dentists, nurses and other registered health practitioners working in Victoria when treating a patient who does not have the capacity to consent to (or refuse) medical treatment.
Since 12 March 2018, new legislation, the Medical Treatment Planning and Decision Making Act 2016, applies when treating a patient who does not have the capacity to consent to (or refuse) medical treatment. (It also applies to paramedics and non-emergency patient transport staff).
The Patient Consent app takes health practitioners through the steps they need to take if a patient is unable to consent to medical treatment. It also includes links to important definitions, additional information, and the online form to request the Public Advocate to make a significant treatment decision when the patient is unable to consent to the treatment and there is no medical treatment decision maker.
The app is aimed at helping health practitioners to quickly identify how to proceed in a range of typical scenarios. In more complex situations, at any point, the user can click on a button to directly call OPA. Health practitioners should select the option to speak to the Medical Decisions team.
The ‘Can your adult patient consent?’ app is a useful adjunct to OPA’s popular ‘Can your adult patient consent?’ poster, which can be downloaded from the OPA website or ordered by calling 1300 309 337.
The app, which is available for both Android and Apple mobile devices, can be downloaded for free from either the Google Play or iTunes stores and accessed anytime, anywhere on a mobile phone. Search for 'patient consent' or click on the links below.
Other resources for health practitioners
Video: Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 - an introduction
This 45 minute presentation by Victoria Office of the Public Advocate's Senior Medical Treatment Decision Maker provides an overview of the new legislation and the steps you now need to take if a patient is unable to consent to medical treatment. There are also links to additional information and a team to call if you have more questions.
Best of all, it is on YouTube, which means you can watch it at a time and place that suits you, and can take a break or re-watch whenever you want.
Please share this information with your colleagues, especially those working in rural or regional areas or in small hospitals or practices who cannot easily get to one of the face-to-face presentations.
Steps for health practitioners when a patient is unable to consent to the proposed medical treatment (accessible version) >when a patient is unable to consent to the proposed medical treatment (accessible version) >