Before Providing an Informal Consult, Know the Risks

December 24, 2019

While having lunch with a colleague, a case comes up and they pick your brain for a few minutes about what you would do in their shoes. No problem, right?

It depends.

If you're not careful with informal “curbside consults” like these, you could expose yourself to liability risk. Recently, a Minnesota court improperly held there is no such thing as an informal consult, and it’s possible you could owe a duty of care even if you never treat the patient yourself – so it's critical that everybody be on the same page.

That's why ISMIE offers an entry on Curbside Consults in our resource library. This resource offers guidance on how to evaluate the nature of a consult, when to insist on a formal consult, and other ways to limit your risk in these situations. Whether you are the one asking for the consult or the one providing it, this knowledge is vital to protecting you, your colleagues and your patients.

Questions? Contact the ISMIE risk management team by email or phone at 800-782-4767.

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