Are You Up to Standard?

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Are You Up to Standard?, CPSA, Messenger

An elderly patient sees their physician for a prescription refill. During that visit, the patient asks for their lab requisitions be completed. They are told to book a second appointment. Is this in the best interest of the patient? Limiting patients to one issue per visit is a growing trend. While balancing time constraints with patient needs is challenging, it …

Are you up to standard? Charging for after-hours phone calls

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Are You Up to Standard?, CPSA, Messenger

CPSA’s Standards of Practice (SOP) department recently learned that some physicians charge their patients a fee for after-hours phone calls. If the call is for an insured service, physicians cannot charge additional fees. If the call is for an uninsured service, a conversation about fees must occur ahead of time between the physician and patient—it is not sufficient to have …

Are you up to standard? Terminating the physician-patient relationship

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Are You Up to Standard?, CPSA, Messenger

As highlighted in last month’s Messenger, misinformation about CPSA’s prescribing expectations has seen some chronic pain patients discharged by their primary care physicians, putting these patients’ lives at risk. Neither complexity of care, uncertainty around knowing what to do, nor fear of causing harm relieves physicians of their obligations to comply with the Standards of Practice , Code of Ethics …

Are you up to standard? Informed consent and sensitive exams of minor patients

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Are You Up to Standard?, CPSA, Messenger

Standards of practice apply to patients of all ages When performing sensitive exams on pediatric patients, many physicians will lift the front of the underwear and briefly palpate underneath the garment. This is generally done instead of having the patient disrobe completely when there is a parent or guardian in the room, to minimize the patient’s embarrassment. However, in light …