Merkrebs Quoted in Healthcare Risk ManagementAugust 31, 2018 |
Howard Merkrebs was quoted in an article published in Healthcare Risk Management, “Patients Leaving Against Medical Advice Create Liability Risk.” Merkrebs discusses how the AMA form is not enough to prevent a lawsuit.
“Even when clinicians and administrators do their best to counsel a patient who wishes to leave AMA and have signed documents acknowledging that exchange, the patient sometimes still will sue the hospital,” says Merkrebs.
“The form in and of itself does not prevent a lawsuit. The lawsuit would not be dismissed on a motion of summary judgment by the hospital just because the patient signed the form,” he says. “If that were the case, there would never be any lawsuits in which the hospital has a signed form, and there certainly are.”
“The nurse can’t just say, ‘If you want to leave, here’s a form. Sign it and you can leave,’” Merkrebs says. “That’s a problem.”
“The chart should reflect what was told to the patient about exactly what could happen if he or she leaves the hospital without the care you’re recommending,” he says. “If there are family members present, use them to try to convince the patient to stay and document that you made that effort.”
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