Thursday, March 14, 2013

Need for Full Time Nursing Home Dr's

Jonathan M. Evans is a geriatric physician. A firm believer in onsite physicians at nursing homes, he explained, “The thing that matters most is being there – being there for patients when they're sick; being there for families when they're in need; being there for staff to provide support and ongoing education. You can't be part of a team if you're not present.”

Should the nursing home physician communicate directly with patients and family members rather than through the staff? Evans’ answer is -- “Why the hell not?”

Evans pointed out, "A doctor should always communicate with a patient directly unless a patient is not able to make medical decisions and has a medical proxy to guard confidentiality.” In the absence of a full-time physician, dementia patients are at a disadvantage. The doctor reads charts, talks to staff, talks to patient, but fails to communicate with family.
If a physician talks with family rather than just reading charts, patients can be helped more effectively. In the absence of a full time physician, there is a disconnect.

by Bernard Hamill 
Nursing Home Abuse

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