by STATE BOARD FOR CHIROPRACTIC | 1/15/2004 2:13:40 PM
Webster’s dictionary defines “communication” as a transmitting, a giving or exchanging of information, messages, etc. Doctors of Chiropractic have a variety of daily opportunities to communicate with patients and the public at large. Some of the ways a Doctor of Chiropractic may communicate include: ADVERTISING: Doctors of Chiropractic commonly use print or electronic media, promotional seminars, or lay lectures to communicate methods of chiropractic care to patients and the public. A responsible Doctor takes care that the presented material is within the scope of chiropractic practice in New York State and is reflective of his or her education and technical expertise. An ethical practitioner is sensitive to advertising that is not in the public interest, i.e., false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading. PATIENTS: Communication with your patient is paramount, especially that which involves direct clinical interaction in an office setting. Inadequate or ineffective communication may lead patients to misinterpret clinically warranted procedures as “inappropriate” or, worse, “violative”, e.g., placement of the practitioner’s hand or knee or body during an adjustive technique. If a patient files a complaint of a boundary violation or any other alleged act of professional misconduct, the Office of Professional Discipline must initiate an investigation. Making the effort to communicate to your patients about the specifics of clinically warranted chiropractic procedures and techniques is an extremely valuable investment of your time. This is an example of where it is critical as a professional to be proactive rather than reactive. RECORDKEEPING/DOCUMENTATION: Your patients’ files/charts can contain a broad spectrum of consent forms, examination forms as well as daily office entries. In reality, records are vehicles of communication with your patients, other health professionals, lawyers, judges, workers’ compensation board and other third party administrators, peer and utilization review parties, and state regulatory agencies. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for formatting your clinical documentation clearly and accurately, and for securing the confidentiality of your patients’ records. This area of responsibility has been heightened by the promulgation of federal regulations to implement the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The members of the New York State Board for Chiropractic want you to remember that communication is a platform for information and education, which can protect the public by enhancing the provision of care entrusted to every licensee authorized to practice the chiropractic profession in this State.