While practices are optimistic about every patient that walks through their door for the first time, it's not realistic to assume every single interaction will work out. Quite simply, some patients bring a bad attitude to the practice and end up abusing physicians and staff, either verbally, physically, or financially. Other patients are just not on the same wavelength as their physician, when it comes to treatment plans and adherence.
In these cases, an outright dismissal of a patient might be the best course of action. If you are hemming and hawing over this decision, it's understandable. Most physicians think the best of patients and want to help people. In some cases, issues can be resolved.
However, physicians like Rebecca Fox, a pediatrician at FoxCare Integrative Pediatrics in Loudon County, Va., say you can't hesitate to dismiss if the situation calls for it. "If a patient is being abusive, either to your staff or financially abusing you … if this is a business arrangement, you don't have to put up with that. Asking them to leave for whatever your reason, you should have documentation, but it's your practice. You can ask people to leave," says Fox.
Here are 10 tips on dealing with problem patients at your practice.