Promoting Accountability Through The Patient Partnership Plan

We all demand accountability from those who provide services to us. Certainly, the patient relies on the professionalism and accountability of their physician. Why can’t that expectation of accountability go both ways? The Patient Partnership Plan was developed by CAP risk management and patient safety specialists to help physicians increase the levels of accountability of the patient by managing their levels of expectations, thus reducing risk and liability. With the Patient Partnership Plan, the patient agrees to take responsibility for his or her own health in the following ways:

Scheduling Visits for Routine Physical Exams and Other Recommended Health Screenings:
By encouraging the patient to maintain regular checkups, rather than presenting only for sick care on an intermittent basis, serious or chronic diseases can be diagnosed earlier.

Keeping Follow-Up Appointments and Rescheduling Missed Appointments:
The physician's risk increases when a patient who requires monitoring and/or follow-up consistently misses appointments. By committing to show up for appointments, this risk can be mitigated, and complications can be averted.

Calling for the Results of Labs and Other Tests:
"No news is good news" should not be an acceptable policy. Giving the patient the responsibility to call for test results is a safeguard against test results getting lost in the system.

Informing the Physician If the Patient Decides Not to Follow His or Her Recommended Treatment Plan:
Noncompliant patients are a risk in any practice, especially if no one is aware. If issues are openly discussed, the physician can present the risks of noncompliance, and the two parties can find a solution that is acceptable to both.

The Patient Partnership Plan template is set up for placement on your practice's letterhead. Click here to read the instructions first. It is available for download In English and in Spanish.


If you have questions about this article, please contact us. This information should not be considered legal advice applicable to a specific situation. Legal guidance for individual matters should be obtained from a retained attorney.