Telehealth Informed Consent Tips for Providers

Is written informed consent necessary?

Since state requirements vary, it is important to know the regulatory requirements for your state(s) of practice, as well as for the state of residency for your patient. It is standard practice to obtain written patient consent for medical care. For telehealth, informed consent should include patient education about telehealth and how it differs from an in-person visit.

A single consent form may be used for multiple visits unless the medical provider changes. At that time, the patient should sign a new form. Otherwise, it is recommended that a new form be signed annually.

Patient communication should include information on the unique characteristics of telehealth services, such as:

  • Technologies used, including their capabilities and limitations
  • Potential technical problems that may occur, and what to do if an issue arises
  • Agreement that telehealth is appropriate for care
  • Available alternatives to telehealth
  • Credentials of the practitioner(s) involved

Be sure to set realistic expectations regarding the scope of service, who will be present during the appointment, billing and prescribing policies, and follow-up communications.

As most of us have probably experienced during remote meetings or webinars, technology does not always work as intended. Problems can occur for the provider, the patient, or both. Some of the technology risks include:

  • Transmission errors and lost connections in audio and/or video
  • Limitations and/or failure of equipment
  • Limitations to privacy and/or security
  • Inability to use multimedia commonly used in the office, such as a educational resource

Obtain patient consent prior to the telehealth visit. Have your informed-consent document translated into commonly used languages. Determine if it is necessary to arrange a translator for a telehealth visit.

Documents may be exchanged through:

  • The patient portal
  • Electronic media, either via secure email or facsimile
  • Standard USPS mail

Ensure receipt of the signed form. The completed documentation should be included in the patient’s medical record. If a patient is unable to return a signed electronic confirmation document that the consent was reviewed with the patient, the patient was unable to respond electronically, and verbal consent was obtained. If possible, have a second staff member listen and attest as a witness.

Sample Consent Forms

Search our Resource Library at to download the following sample consent forms:

  • Telehealth Informed Consent for Patient at Home
  • Telehealth Informed Consent for Onsite Visit with Second Provider