Watermarking is currently investigated as an efficient and safe method of embedding additional patient or environment-related data into the electrocardiogram. This paper presents experimental work on the assessment of the loss of ECG (electrocardiogram signal) diagnostic quality from the industrial standard EN60601-2-25:2015 point of view. We implemented an original time-frequency watermarking technique with an adaptive beat-to-beat lead-independent data container design. We tested six wavelets, six coding bit depth values (including the automatic noise-dependent one) and two types of watermark content to find the conditions that are necessary for watermarked ECG to maintain the compliance with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) requirements for interpretation performance. Unlike other authors, we did not assess the differences of signal values, but errors in ECG wave delineation results. The results of a total of 7300 original and watermarked 10 s ECGs were statistically processed to reveal possible interpretation quality degradation due to watermarking. Finally we found (1) the Symlet of 11-th order as the best of the wavelets that were tested; (2) the important role of ECG wave delineation and noise tracking procedures; (3) the high influence of the watermark-to-noise similarity of amplitude and values distribution and (4) the stability of the watermarking capacity for different heart rates in atrial rhythms.