September 14, 2022

Updated version of consent for health care services; patients now automatically opted in to research opportunities

A new version of the patient consent form, formally known as the Consent for Healthcare Services, will be in use throughout all Vanderbilt Health locations as of Monday, Sept. 26.*

With this update, four significant changes have been made to the consent form:

  1. The name of the form has been updated from Consent for Routine Services (Hospital) to reflect the broader nature of health care offerings within Vanderbilt.
  2. Patients consent to have their genes or DNA tested to determine the best course of treatment for their condition(s).
  3. Patients consent to allow their treatments to be studied to help improve care for themselves and others.
  4. Patients will now be “opted in” to be contacted about research studies occurring at Vanderbilt; they may opt out by calling the number listed on the form.

Previously, patients had to expressly agree to be contacted about participating in research studies. With this change, patients will have more opportunities to consider participation in research studies that might be of interest to them.

“On any given day VUMC is conducting thousands of research protocols to advance our understanding of many of the diseases plaguing mankind. Robust participation from our patients is essential to help us find new treatments and cures. The adoption of an ‘opt in’ consent process will expedite our ability to perform this important work,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Patients will not be contacted for a research study unless the patient:

  1. Has an existing care relationship with a clinician who is serving on an approved research study, or
  2. Has not requested to opt out of being contacted about research opportunities

Outpatients must sign this form every 12 months—they will be asked to sign in upon check-in for their clinic visit. Hospital, surgical and procedural patients must sign it for every visit or procedure.

A full copy of the form is available in MedEx (must be signed in on VUMC network to access). Spanish and Arabic versions are available.

*Form is still being finalized for the birthing center, as well as some remaining clinics.