Knowledge Library

Using Email to Communicate with Patients

Email is increasingly used as an efficient communication tool in all industries, and healthcare is no exception. With the constant presence of the internet, smart mobile devices, and social media, patients are increasingly expecting to be able to communicate electronically with their medical providers. While healthcare providers were initially slower to embrace electronic communication, they are now also becoming increasingly dependent on the efficiency that electronic communication provides, both for communication between providers and with patients. Email certainly can be a valuable and time-saving communication tool to augment face-to-face interactions, if used properly, but it may create liability problems for...

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How to Discharge a Patient from Your Medical Practice

Patients can “fire” any physician they employ, and can do so for any reason and without advance notice. As physicians do not employ patients, they cannot “fire” them. But physicians can discharge patients from their medical practice for any legitimate and non-discriminatory reason, and thus terminate the doctor-patient relationship. Whether the end of the doctor-patient relationship is initiated by a patient or the physician, some safeguards should be taken to ensure that the separation is legally proper and does not endanger the patient. Physicians or their staff who have general questions about discharging patients can contact our Patient Safety &...

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How to Manage Non-Adherent Patients

Patients who are non-adherent (formerly referred to as “difficult” or “non-compliant”) with their physician’s recommendations or medical advice risk injury to themselves and pose a liability threat for their physician. Non-adherent patients typically are those who do not follow post-treatment instructions; don’t keep appointments; don’t report information about worsening symptoms; fail to follow through on referrals to a specialist; don’t get recommended diagnostic tests; or don’t take their medications properly. Reasons for non-adherence Non-adherence is not always a deliberate act. Among the reasons some patients may not follow the doctor’s advice: They didn’t understand instructions; They forgot the doctor’s oral...

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CRICO Strategies Publishes New Benchmarking Report

On February 12, 2019, CRICO Strategies, a division of Harvard’s Risk Management Foundation (see footnote below), released its annual benchmarking report entitled, “Medical Malpractice in America – a 10-Year Assessment with Insights.” The Report analyzes 124,000 medical professional liability cases from 2007 to 2016, representing 30% of the total MPL claims in the nation. As your professional liability carrier, MIEC is determined to bring insight and actionable data to our members to improve patient safety and reduce both the number and cost of medical professional liability (MPL) claims. CRICO Strategies’ output is one of the most definitive sources available for...

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Medical Assistant Update: Training and Scope of Practice

A medical assistant (MA) is an unlicensed individual who performs basic administrative, clerical or technical support services on behalf of a licensed practitioner. Many MAs are certified by an educational institution or their employer as being competent to perform specified tasks. Although the specific scope of practice for medical assistants varies from state to state, unlicensed personnel generally may not diagnose, treat, prescribe for, operate upon, or perform any invasive procedure upon patients. Physicians should be aware of their responsibility to ensure that MAs working under their direction are adequately trained and supervised. General Recommendations: Ensure your MAs’ level of...

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