Dialogue Volume 15, Issue 2 2019 - Page 22

COMPLAINTS Ensure that you have a system in place that allows you to manage test results effectively so that you can follow up on concern- ing results. 3 Be respectful of patients during intimate examinations. Explain what areas of the body you will need to examine and why. Get their consent before you begin, and always use sensitive draping tech- niques. [If you need advice in this area, read the article on draping published in the Issue 4, 2018 of Dialogue]. 4 Be mindful of the prescribing guidelines for opioids and other controlled substanc- es. The CPSO knows very well that some patients will have different needs that will dictate prescribing outside the recommended 5 22 DIALOGUE ISSUE 2, 2019 guideline, but starting with an evidence-based approach puts you on solid footing to apply your own clinical judgment. Respond in a timely way when patients – or their representatives – ask for copies of their medical record. I can almost guarantee that a patient who is forced to ask repeatedly for their record will make a complaint. 6 And lastly, I can’t stress enough the importance of solid documentation. Good medical records are important for many reasons, not the least of which is to ensure a patient’s continuity of care. And in the event that a complaint is lodged against you, good medical records will provide a window on the clinical judgment that you exercised during the clinical encounter. A complete, up-to-date, legible and accurate medical record can make all the difference to the outcome of the College's investigation. 7 Dr. Akbar Panju is a vice chair of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee and Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. MD Use language and a tone that is respectful and empathetic. Yes, it’s true – our clinical days are busy and we are working in an over-stressed system, however, we need to be mindful that we are seeing people at their most scared and vulnerable, and they need kindness. 2