Doctor's PI Program
From the Desk of:
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
“What to do with Mishandled Cases Started Prior to Joining the Doctor's PI Program”
A very common question I get is, “How do I handle patients that were seen prior to joining the Lawyers PI Program when I mishandled the patient according to my the standard of care I had then?” In fact, the actual question I get continues with, “What should I do now because the lawyer will hate what I did?”
The answer is simple. Get the patient back in for a follow-up evaluation, no different than explained in the Chronology of Symptomatology. The only difference is that you need to be more aware of any diagnostic/clinical dilemmas not resolved based upon the final examination and your current knowledge. If there is an indication for an MRI, order it. The same goes with EMG’s or any other clinically indicated testing to resolve the diagnostic dilemma that presented itself during the original examination.
Regarding any poor paperwork that you generated prior to the last examination, there is nothing you can do about it. It cannot be changed. However, if there is anything else you remember about the previous patient encounter, you are allowed to make an addendum to the note. Be sure to document the date you made that addendum on the note.
Once you have seen the patient for the final evaluation, follow the same procedure as always. Call the lawyer and inform him/her that you have “significant new information regarding his/her client and you want to sit with him/her to explain the results.”
If you have previously written a narrative, it doesn’t matter. Follow the above procedure based upon your final examination. You are allowed to create a new diagnosis, new recommendations and anything else you choose to do. The only thing you cannot do is to continue with your previous practice paradigm, as it will hurt your patient and your relationship with the legal community. Knowledge is power and now, after reading hundreds of consultations and hopefully haven taken most, if not all, of the online courses, you have an enormous amount of power to confidently guide your patient and practice, missing nothing.
The last line should synopsize what lawyers need, want and look for in creating a referral relationship with any doctor. You now hopefully understand what is required to win at a very high level in the medical-legal community.