What to Consider When Providing Services In A Facility As A Solo Practitioner.

If you go into facilities to provide nursing services (e.g. foot care), understanding what policies need to be followed, is key to prevent misunderstanding and stay out of trouble.

 

 

As a nurse, you will not lose sight that the patient is the most important aspect of the visit. Frequently, you will have to call on your excellent communication and empathy skills to make it as trouble-free as possible.  However, you are a professional going into another professional’s facility and as well as the legalities of consent and patient confidentiality; it is a reasonable expectation that you contact the facility team in advance to notify them of the visit.  This can be used as an opportunity to make sure no changes have occurred regarding your visit or client’s condition.

Do you need to see the client’s records?  Remember, the facility owns the records, and it is reasonable that you seek permission from the patient to view or add to the records.  You will also need the permission of the relevant person at the facility to access the clients existing healthcare records.

It is valuable to make time to arrange a brief meeting with a manager before your first visit to familiarize yourself with their policies and procedures applicable to your visits.  You will want to know about their documentation policies, do they allow you to update their paper documents as a record of your visit? In some cases, the facility may require you provide them with written notes that they keep with their records for the shared client.

You also need to consider your own policies and how you document your visit for your own records.  Your options depend on the policy they request you utilize, for example:

  • If you update their paper record, how do you have a record? The simplest option is for a member of their team to photocopy your notes for you.
  • If your system is electronic, ask if they accept that you record the care provided as part of your system as well if needed.
  • If they use an electronic system, and yours is paper, ask if they can provide you with a copy for your records if needed.

They may request that you sign a confidentiality form either as a one of on this first meeting or even each time you visit.

When you visit the facility, even if they are expecting you, it is courtesy to always make sure they know you are there, who you are and what you are doing.  The staff on duty may not know about your visit, and it’s your responsibility to smooth the way by seeking out a member of staff and letting them know you are there and what permissions you have regarding patient records.

Disclaimer: This information is provided in an attempt to heighten sensitivity, increase awareness, and enhance judgments on this topic. We encourage our audience to contact their legal advisor and regulatory body to learn more. CompanyOn does not represent or speak on behalf of any regulatory body. 

At CompanyOn, we’re committed to supporting our community of solo practitioners, no matter where they are in pursuing professional independence. If you are interested in a particular topic you would like us to discuss, please let us know at [email protected].

Related Resources:

British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives

College of Nurse of Ontario

College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba

College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba

Canadian Nurses Association

Canadian Nurses Protective Society

Canadian Association of Foot Care Nurses

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