The first thing to do when hiring an nonphysician practitioner (NPP) is define exactly what this person will do as an employee of the practice, ensuring it is within his or her scope of practice under Texas law. Then, establish general practice parameters that will guide the NPP in caring for patients. These parameters do not have to detail every possible treatment for every possible presenting symptom or illness but provide general, agreed-upon guidelines.
Practice parameters of this nature:
- Prevent future misunderstandings about patient care,
- Help both the physician and the NPP understand what is expected when treating patients,
- Prevent inconsistent information being delivered to patients, and
- Help the physician know the patient care delivered by the NPP is in keeping with the physician's own professional judgment.
Ultimately, and perhaps most importantly, agreeing on practice parameters should help decrease the physician's liability concerns.
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