A physician writing down documentation about dismissing a patient.

Before You Dismiss That Patient...

There's more to dismissing a patient than simply saying “see ya.”

As a medical professional, there are times when you have to decide that the best course of action is to dismiss a patient, whether it’s for the patient’s best interest or the safety and security of yourself and your staff (or all of the above). While this might sound like an elementary task, it is important that you don’t overlook a few very important issues.

Reasons for Dismissal

We often get requests regarding how to properly terminate a patient from your practice. The reasons for terminating a provider-patient relationship can vary from non-adherence to your recommended treatment plan to abusive actions toward you and/or your staff. As a Professional Solutions policyholder, we have a variety of free resources available to you such as a sample letter, how to professionally proceed to circumvent allegations of abandonment, and what to consider in a policy and the corresponding procedures for dismissals. (See resources below.)

Review Records First

However, one very important point to remember, before you dismiss a patient, be sure to review the records to determine if there are any outstanding test results, need for follow up, medication concerns such as tapering, or referrals.  Also, review your records for other incident reports.

Whatever your reasons for dismissal may be, make sure you document the issues, thoroughly review records, and make any necessary referrals. Doing all of these things ensures the most professional transition possible – even in an uncomfortable situation.