James W. Saxton, ESQ, and Maggie M. Finkelstein, ESQ
Physicians, you cannot do it alone. You need your patients’ help! In today’s environment, with national healthcare reform’s emphasis on enhancing quality and safety, moving from patient education and involvement to true patient accountability is a necessity. Many physician practices have incorporated some basic patient-accountability strategies, such as at-risk letters, anti-abandonment letters, second-generation informed consent, and informed refusal. However, it is time to take patient accountability to a new, more serious level: Fortify initial efforts while adopting new strategies. In this article, we will highlight some of the new strategies that will enable you to involve your patients more in their own care and hold them more accountable. The data are clear—patients do better when involved with their own care. This results in reduced liability exposure and can even enhance the economic wellbeing of your practice.