My fear for next week is a mental health crisis affecting all physicians referring to home health. In spite of every medication and therapy known to address tinnitus, our MD’s will be driven crazy by incessant ringing of the ears.
If you want to protect the sanity of your favorite referral sources and haven’t already done so, draft a fax template for medication and care plan review. For meds, it might read something like:
Dear Dr. Bleaux:
We have reviewed Mr. Thibodeaux’s medications and have found the following issues that might affect his plan of care:
Tagamet and Cimetidine are both ordered for this patient. Can we have a clarification order for our care plan?
Leave room for the MD to make notes and sign/date his or her signature. Place your fax number prominently on the sheet.
The last line should read something like: BEST PRACTICES MANDATE THAT WE HAVE CLARIFICATION ON THIS POTENTIAL MEDICATION ERROR BEFORE THE END OF THE TOMORROW. Sooner is better. YOUR COOPERATION IS APPRECIATED BY US AND YOUR PATIENT!
Be sure to include all pertinent information about the patient including the date of birth since many physician offices use date of birth for patient identification. The easier that you make this process for the MD, the better your response will be.
Next, start tracking response times per physician. Make a copy of any fax that is returned later than the deadline. Share these faxes with your marketing staff so that physicians can be educated (beaten up) if they do not comply.
Remember, physician contact includes two way communication. In order to document that the physician was contacted you must have verification of two way communication with the doctor. Sending a fax is not enough. Only when you receive a call back or return fax, have you met the criteria for responding Yes to MD contact within one calendar day.