Legal Risks of "Curbside" Consults.
Am J Cardiol. 2010 Jul 1;106(1):135-138
Authors: Cotton VR
"Curbside" consults, in which physicians informally solicit one another's opinions, are an integral part of our medical culture and invaluable to the care of our patients. Unfortunately, there is widespread uncertainly as to the degree of legal risk they pose and growing concern in the risk management community that curbside consults should be limited in scope if not eliminated entirely. This places curbside consultants in a quandary, seemingly forced to choose among their ethical obligation to patients, their sense of duty to colleagues, and their own legal well-being. The author evaluates the legal aspects of curbside consults, distinguishes them from clinical interactions with which they must not be confused, and then provides guidance for conducting curbside consults. In conclusion, curbside consults should occur as often as needed and to whatever degree is necessary for proper patient care.
PMID: 20609661 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]