Document Type


Publication Date



Catherine Marco


Objective: The determine the correlation between patient recall and understanding of Emergency Department (ED) consent for treatment and patient triage level. Methods: This was a prospective study based on demographical and triage data collected from patient charts, in combination with patient responses to the consent for treatment survey. Results: Of the 293 that participated in the study, the mean age was 52, with 122 (41.6%) males and 171 (58.4%) females. 179 (61.5%) identified as white/Caucasian and 100 (34.4%) identified as African-American. Most patients, 210 (72.4%), arrived by walk-in and the rest, 80 (27.6%), were by ambulance. Participants with lower triage levels said they didn’t remember anything from the consent for treatment document (51.4%) more often than patients with higher triage levels (25.9%) ( p = 0/02)Participants with higher triage levels recalled the document was specifically consenting for treatment (70.4%) more often than those with lower triage levels (38.9%) (p = 0.01). There were no significant relationships between the patient’s triage level and reading the actual document, or recalling specific aspects of the document including HIPAA, billing, or patient rights. No patients in the study recalled the document containing information about attending physicians, photography, or personal property. Future directions of these findings could include a more standardized way of presenting and assessing understanding of this information to ED patients.