Saturday, November 11, 2006

How to recognise problem patients

" Early recognition of problem patients is important for risk management. Problem patients may exhibit traits that include lengthy care histories from many providers, courses of care dominated primarily by emergency visits, constant complaints about past or current care, ongoing failure to pay for services, and consistent failures to adhere to advice and instructions. These traits are common in plaintiffs and litigious patients. Prudent practitioners who identify these traits early may discharge or not accept these patients. Often, such decisions save time, money, and aggravation. If you care for such a patient, document the care and issues of the problem. "

Good advise for all doctors - prevention is better than cure ! It's best to avoid "heartsink patients". Not only do they make the doctor's life miserable, they also end up harming other patients. Doctors get cynical and stressed out when dealing with these problem patients - and this affects the way they deal with all their other patients too !

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