Knowledge Library

FAQs: COVID-19 Informed Consent

Q: Can I be sued if a patient contracts COVID-19 after coming in for an office visit? A: Yes, although plaintiffs may have a difficult time substantiating the origin of the infection given that the typical patient will have multiple opportunities for potential exposures. Medical practices should implement reasonable protocols to mitigate risk of infection to both patients and employees, such as those required by state and local public health officials and infection control guidelines put forth by the CDC and OSHA. Q.) Should I require my patients to sign a waiver absolving me of liability related to COVID-19? A.)...

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The Use of Advanced Practice Providers in a Medical Practice: Update 2020

Physicians work with advanced practice providers (APPs) in a variety of medical settings. Advanced practice providers include physician assistants (PAs), and four classifications of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs): nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). As the healthcare industry is experiencing an ever-increasing aging patient population, fewer physicians, is transitioning to value-based reimbursement, APPs are becoming vital to the success of team-based care. In this article we explore the qualifications of APPs, the benefits of employing APPs, as well as the impact they have on the role of physicians. Advanced...

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Practicing during a pandemic – Coronavirus/COVID-19

Since first emerging as a novel virus in December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak has quickly enveloped the world and, as of March 11, 2020, it was declared by the World Health Organization to be a true pandemic. Currently, there are over 118,000 cases in 114 countries, with 4,291 fatalities. In the U.S., there are 1,215 cases in 43 states, with 36 associated fatalities- and those numbers are growing rapidly. A few of the issues that challenge the response to the coronavirus outbreak are the variability of symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 in individuals, a shortage of viral test...

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Smartphones and Texting with Patients

Text messaging or SMS (short message service) has become the virtual default method of direct communication in today’s society. As regular mail and even personal emails are increasingly as difficult to find as needles in virtual haystacks, and there is less and less time for telephone calls, individuals who want timely responses are using text messages to communicate- and this expectation is present in healthcare as well. Consider the following statistics: 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent. (Forbes) 98% of text messages are read. (Physician Practice News) 91% of US adults 65+ own a...

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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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