Have a patient's chart in front of you when giving advice by telephone.
Example: A patient called her primary care clinic complaining of abdominal
cramping and pain. A nurse took the telephone call and told the patient it
was most likely that she had gastroenteritis, but to call back in two days if
the symptoms did not subside. The patient called the clinic again in two
days, on a Friday, stating she had abdominal pain. An NP took the call. The
NP did not obtain the patient's chart before talking with the patient. A
chart review would have revealed that the patient had an IUD. The NP told
the patient it was most likely that she had gastroenteritis, and to call next
week if the symptoms had not resolved. In five days, the patient came for an
office visit and was diagnosed with severe PID. Soon thereafter, the patient
had a hysterectomy, necessitated by the infection. The patient sued the NP.
This tip is excerpted from a recent issue of The Gold Sheet, a monthly
newsletter published by the Law Office of Carolyn Buppert. The Gold Sheet
covers the latest news on quality for NPs. For a 12-month subscription, send
a check for $25 to The Gold Sheet, Law Office of Carolyn Buppert, 1419 Forest
Drive, Suite 205, Annapolis, MD 21403. A companion newsletter, The Green
Sheet, offers the latest information on NP compensation and reimbursement.
Last updated: August 9, 1999
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