Policies were received from 65 (49 percent) of the 132 Indiana hospitals, 21 (44 percent) of the hospitals of greater than 500 beds, and 19 (34 percent) of those facilities with less than 275 beds. Thirty-seven (57 percent) of the responding Indiana hospitals use a general consent form, while 28 (43 percent) itemize specific procedures that require signed patient consent. Among the 21 responding large hospitals from outside Indiana, 11 (52 percent) use a general format while ten (48 percent) specify procedures. Data for the 19 smaller hospitals are similar with 11 (58 percent) incorporating a general guideline and eight (42 percent) itemizing procedures (Table 1).
Therefore, of the 105 hospitals answering the survey, 59 (56 percent) use a general statement as the hospital policy directing when a formal signed approval from the patient is necessary. The remaining 46 (44 percent) itemize one or more specific diagnostic or therapeutic procedures requiring signed consent. These latter hospitals may or may not also have a more general policy statement as part of their precise list to provide general coverage for other nonspecified procedures. The largest number of specified procedures by a single hospital was 55. The list of clinical procedures itemized by more than 10 percent of the 46 hospitals using a specific policy format is given in Table 2. Adjacent to each item is the number of hospitals specifying that procedure.