TMH Living Well: Empower caregiver with medical consent
As a parent, it’s important for you to go out once in a while and leave your children with a baby sitter or grandparent. When you go, don’t forget to leave behind a medical consent form. If something happened while you were gone, you’ll need it for your caregiver to initiate medical care quickly.
“It’s important for parents to provide this to a caregiver, so there is no delay or confusion for medical care if need be,” said Starla Heizer, with medical records at The Memorial Hospital.
While having a release is important for a night out, it’s much more vital for weekends away. With cellphones we presume we are reachable, but we are not present to sign papers.
Intuitively, people assume that if a relative is caring for their children, that person will be able to sign for medical care because they are related. This isn’t the case. Let’s say your sister is watching your child during the day, and your daughter has a doctor’s appointment and requires a lab or imaging test. She may be unable to get the test without a consent form.
In addition, in order to pick up a relative’s medical records, you need written consent: “The most common question I get is, ‘Can I pick up my husband’s/wife’s medical records?’ The answer is no, unless you are the Medical Power of Attorney for him or her. A written consent from your spouse is necessary for you to pick up records, along with a copy of the patient’s photo ID,” Heizer said. This goes for your elderly parent’s medical records, as well.
Two consent forms for minors can be downloaded from the TMH website (www.thememorialhospital.com) under “resources and forms.” There is a basic Authorization to Consent to Treatment of Unemancipated Minor and a more in depth Consent for Emergency Care. You can also opt to simply write a letter. If writing a letter, make sure to include these items:
Unemancipated minor consent form items (from CHA Colorado consent manual)
• Child or children’s name(s)
• Caregiver’s name, address and phone
• Date through which you authorize consent (i.e. 12 months from date)
• Father’s name
• Mother’s name
• Or legal guardian’s name
• Witness signature
The Consent for Emergency Care includes more information, such as a brief medical history regarding allergies and medical issues, along with insurance information. It might be a good idea to add this pertinent information to your letter, as well.
Ensure your child gets the medical treatment he or she needs while you are away. It takes mere seconds and guarantees quick care when needed.
This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig — improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered health care and service excellence.