Medical Professional Publications

Managing the Problem List

(From the October 2015 Issue of MedStat)

Regulatory Corner

A patient’s problem list must be managed. Problems on the list have a plan. Each problem must be as specific as the clinical information allows. As new information is added, the problem must be updated to reflect the new knowledge. For example, a patient may be admitted from the emergency room with the problem of “abdominal pain”. The plan includes an extensive work-up. New information is acquired and the problem can be changed to “appendicitis.” The patient undergoes surgery and the inflamed appendix is removed. The patient’s abdominal pain is relieved. When the patient is discharged, the problem of appendicitis is resolved to the past medical and surgical history. Neither abdominal pain nor appendicitis should remain on the problem list. They are no longer problems.

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