The Episodic Care standard addresses continuity of care for patients who may see a physician only once with no expectation of ongoing care, for example at a walk-in clinic.
The principles are the same as for the recently reissued Continuity of Care standard, but apply to care provided outside of an established physician-patient relationship.
These principles are:
- Contextually complete assessment
- Good communication with the patient regarding the episodic nature of the relationship, treatment and follow-up
- Good documentation of the encounter and sharing of information with the patient’s primary physician (if there is one)
- A system in place to ensure appropriate follow-up of test results and care, as needed.
Simply stated, any physician who requests a test is responsible to follow-up the test results. However, If the patient also has a primary physician, it may be more appropriate for the primary physician to follow-up with the patient.
In this situation, the requesting physician is still responsible to make sure the primary physician receives the test results and agrees to provide the necessary follow-up. The requesting physician is expected to contact the primary physician directly to make arrangements, unless a formal agreement with robust communication channels is in place.
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