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Patients who leave against medical advice can be frustrating to clinicians who want to provide the best care and to risk managers who worry that the patient will blame the hospital if the decision leads to a bad outcome. The best way to avoid potential liability is by ensuring that clinicians understand the need to communicate effectively and document thoroughly. Involving the patient’s family members may not always be a good idea, and the risk manager should be careful about intervening.
Financial Disclosure: Author Greg Freeman, Editor Jill Drachenberg, Editor Jonathan Springston, Editorial Group Manager Leslie Coplin, Accreditations Manager Amy Johnson, MSN, RN, CPN, and Nurse Planner Maureen Archambault report no consultant, stockholder, speaker’s bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study. Consulting Editor Arnold Mackles, MD, MBA, LHRM, discloses that he is an author and advisory board member for The Sullivan Group and that he is owner, stockholder, presenter, author, and consultant for Innovative Healthcare Compliance Group.