How to Deal With Over Demanding Patients
Use Standardized Approaches
Most health care centers have standardized approaches to help reduce the emotions involved in dealing with difficult patients. Build on these reasoned, consistent processes to set clear boundaries from the beginning. This will help you avoid problems down the road, and also help defuse situations before they escalate.
For example, take a uniform medication refill protocol. If your health care center has a policy that medication refills are only allowed during weekdays, ensure that there are signs in every room to that effect. If a patient bothers you repeatedly with questions regarding refills, point the patient to the printed sign and detail on the walls.
A second example can be a clear stipulation as to where a patient can approach you for information or clarification. Patients have the habit of catching nurses as they rush to deal with an emergency situation, or to prep for surgery. A standard rule that a nurse can only approached between so and so hours and only at the nursing station will ensure that patients don’t take the free for all approach.
The American Medical Association (AMA) opines that a patient’s care post operation or post treatment should be restricted to 30 days only. This ensures that patients cannot bother hospital staff for weeks after their treatment is complete. However, if a hospital does not provide sufficient notice, the patient can sue the hospital for patient abandonment. The definition of patient abandonment varies from state to state; it’s always wise to consult a medical liability provider with regard to the correct protocol before terminating your relationship with a patient.
You can also involve the patient’s insurance company in very difficult cases. The insurance company may be able to appoint a patient advocate who can act as a liaison officer between the health care facility and the patient. It’s possible that the patient-doctor, patient-nurse and the patient-health care facility relationships can be solved via a third party liaison officer sent by the insurance company.