The newsLINK Group - Involving a Specialist Early on in the Treatment Plan

Editorial Library Category: General Business | Dental | Periodontist – Gum Disease Topics: Involving Specialists Title: Involving a Specialist Early on in the Treatment Plan Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Deciding whether to treat a patient or refer the patient to a specialist is something that can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. Editorial: Involving a Specialist Early on in the Treatment Plan 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 2 remove this person from your practice. If you allow the patient to stay even though the patient has chosen to be noncompliant, you are opening yourself to the risk of being accused of medical negligence later on if the patient’s condition gets worse and results in some kind of injury. If the patient does comply, and sees a specialist just as you recommended, you will need to talk to the specialist. It is your responsibility to call the specialist, find out the current status of your patient, and find out how the patient is progressing as a result of treatment. You and the specialist need to agree to coordinate care so that everyone involved can be informed when the treatment plan changes or when complications develop. You are also responsible for calling the patient. Do this the same day the patient receives treatment. Document what you find out, even if that means documenting the fact that everything went smoothly and without complications. You may be responsible for follow-up treatment, and you may also be responsible for any additional treatment that does not involve a need for a specialist. Clearly, the two keys here are communication and keeping records. If you do not communicate with the patient and with the specialist, then document your communication, you are needlessly exposing yourself to unnecessary legal risks. The fact is, you can provide better care to your patient by making sure you give the patient the necessary knowledge to know why your plan for treatment is a good one, you then involve the patient in the decision to pursue that particular treatment, and you make sure the treatment is implemented as effectively as possible. This is what it means to be a good dentist, after all: working with both the patient and the specialist to ensure the best possible care for any problem that arises. Sources: casestudy.pdf from Sophie written by Taiba Solaiman http://www.jdentaled.org/content/66/1/68.full.pdf Word Count: 1,050 Copyscape Clear Date: 06.01.2012

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