Trust is the building block of a strong and healthy doctor-patient relationship. The medical practitioner has the responsibility of making sure that the welfare and security of the patient is the top priority. With that, the physician’s self-interest is put on hold until the obligation towards the patient is complete. Besides providing medical diagnosis about the patient’s health, they also have to keep the patient’s confidential medical records away from the hands of others. Overall, the relationship between doctors and patients is strict and critical. However, when it’s time to discharge the individual from the care of the doctor, or when there’s a breach in the professional relationship, using patient termination letters come in play.
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What is a Patient Termination Letter?
A patient termination letter is a formal notice of dismissal or discharge given to a physician’s subject. When the medical practitioner wants to dissociate himself or herself from the patient and end appointments or sessions, they send this type of letter. Dentists, therapists, and other medical personnel who choose to close ties with their respective patients utilize this particular letter as a suitable way of bringing an end to things. The letter contains the reasons for the dismissal, as well as the final parting words of the doctor to his patient. However, patient termination letters depend on what kind of doctor-patient relationship there is present between the two parties.
The Doctor’s Code
Every medicinal practitioner upholds the Hippocratic Oath by following ethical standards. As the doctor’s code, these physicians take an oath—the rite of passage—to protect people, swearing to save the lives of those in mortal danger, and to do no harm towards their patients. The Hippocratic Oath, originally from Greece, was one of the earliest forms of medical texts that talk about ethics in the medical sphere. Today, young doctors take this particular vow to show that they understand the responsibility that comes with being in this profession. The promise carries symbolic value, and it holds the oath takers accountable for their actions even when there’s no equivalent punishment for breaking the vow. Again, the doctors are conscious of their conduct.
7+ Patient Termination Letter Templates – Word, PDF, Google Docs
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How to Write a Formal Patient Termination Letter
Abruptly leaving your patients to fend for themselves is not ethical. As professionals in the field of medicine, it’s essential to uphold the value of being one of the trusted lifesavers. So, when doctors are unwilling to continue their work relationship with a specific patient, sending formal patient termination letters becomes extremely crucial. These specialists have to provide clear and direct reasons to avoid dilemmas in the future.
Step 1: Personalize the Contents of the Letter
Let your patients feel the care and concern you have for them by crafting the letter in a more personalized light. Although the letter is about ending the professional services, you still have to point out happy and positive thoughts. The contents may be different from one person to another, but the essence of thanking the patient is important. You can also include some notes on your appreciation for the efforts of the patient. Also, you can share key points about sessions or appointments, and remind them that they’re strong.
Step 2: Give Assurance to the Patient
Endings can be terrifying for some people. While others prefer endings than beginnings, some fear the end of things. No matter how people try to evade these occurrences, it will still happen. With that, doctors have to assure their patients that this change will be good for them. A breath of fresher air can make their lives easier. If the patient is apprehensive about the confidentiality of the conversations during appointments, you can highlight that all information has restrictions despite the end of the professional relationship.
Step 3: Provide the Reason for Termination
After reassuring the patient that their intimate thoughts and results have no chance of being public, you can start giving out the reason(s) for the termination of the contract. For instance, if you have given warnings about absences or lates, then it should be part of the letter. When the patient is not polite or continues to show mistrust with the doctor, it can reach a premature termination with the contract. The reasons for the discontinuation depends on the agreement between the two groups. So, make sure to provide the right information.
Step 4: Cite the End Dates or Last Session
The formal letter needs to have the final dates of appointments or sessions. Discharging patients without any decent goodbyes is discourteous. For that, you should settle on the day of the last meeting. The most reasonable notice for the patient is 30 days. Within those days, you can provide more notes of improvement. In other cases, the settled days or weeks can change concerning the status of the patient. Always keep tabs so you can adjust right away.
Step 5: End with a Positive Note of Encouragement
In the end, you have to remind yourself that the relationship you built with your patients has an effect on their flexibility with changes. So, encourage your patients to boost their confidence levels. Through words of encouragement, you can compensate for the termination of the contract. Be honest, but polite and kind.
Breaking the news of termination is a difficult task. But having a guide to appease the people makes the activity easier. When things need to end, people should do it properly and amicably. After all, caring for fellow people makes the world a better place.