Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dis Mon. 2002 Apr;48(4):197-206.

Key legal principles for hospitalists.

Abstract

In a hospitalist system, when a patient leaves the hospital, he or she will return to a primary care provider (PCP) for follow-up and continuing care. The hand-off after discharge can compromise communication with the PCP. Physicians have a legal duty to provide follow-up care to patients with whom they have a relationship. The obligation to provide follow-up care endures even when the patient misses a scheduled appointment or does not adhere to the follow-up regimen. In general, the physician who began the care must fulfill that obligation. An essential component of follow-up care includes educating the patient about what symptoms require follow-up care and why it is important. The duty to provide adequate follow-up care is shared by the hospitalist and the PCP. Virtually no malpractice case law considers the obligations and practices of hospitalists. This article uses cases involving follow-up care for patients treated in an emergency department and general cases regarding liability for follow-up care to examine the potential legal obligations of both hospitalists and PCPs for follow-up care, including circumstances involving pending test results and incidental findings.

PMID:
12021752
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center