"Managing Patient Non-Compliant Behaviors
Stephen Pavkovic, RN, MPH, JD, CPRHRM - Senior Risk Manager
In health care, issues related to patient compliance have the potential to compromise patient safety and care outcomes. Addressing patient compliance issues early in the clinical relationship, through patient counseling and objective clinical documentation, can help to mitigate potential compromised outcomes. This article offers suggestions on how to respond to non-compliant patient behavior and advises on Fortress resources available to you.
Responding to non-compliant behavior
Non-compliant patient behavior can manifest in several forms including multiple missed appointments, refusing to follow a treatment plan, failing to follow an office policy, verbal mistreatment, non-payment, or other disruptive acts. While the first reaction to any display of non-compliant behavior may be to outright dismiss a patient from the practice, using this approach may raise the risk of allegations involving discrimination or patient abandonment. Rather than using dismissal as the first response to an episode of disruptive behavior, a progressive response utilizing patient counseling, clinical documentation, and Fortress resources may provide an effective approach to managing non-compliant behavior while also promoting patient safety. Many non-compliant behaviors are often exhibited in a pattern. When patients are counseled about the potential impacts of these behaviors on their health and the continued relationship with the practice, the non-compliant behavior may be interrupted. However, some patients will continue to demonstrate insubordinate behavior and may require dismissal. Objective clinical documentation in the patient’s record of the observed behavior and the patient counseling efforts will help to establish a response to any allegations of patient abandonment."
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