As a primary care physician, you tirelessly dedicate your time and expertise in helping your patients enjoy a better daily life by addressing physical issues that may be diminishing their quality of living.
When your patients are in pain, you seek ways to accurately diagnose and relieve their pain so they can return to a more active, pleasurable lifestyle. But as all physicians understand, it’s not always easy to pinpoint the source of their pain conditions, much less determine what treatment protocol will serve to bring them the most relief.
If the patient still suffers from chronic pain after a primary care doctor has exhausted all possible treatment regimens, it may be necessary to refer them to an interventional pain management specialist. And because you care about your patients, choosing a pain physician to refer them to is a decision that cannot be taken lightly. After all, you want to ensure that wherever you refer your patients, they will receive the same personalized care and expertise that you strive painstakingly to provide for them in your own office.
When making a decision to refer your patients, consider the following factors to ensure that your patients will be given the best care possible by the pain management clinic to which they are referred.
Setting Expectations with the Patient and Specialist
This is a critical step in the referring process; understanding what to expect brings a patient comfort and helps avoid frustration with any ‘unknowns’. The referred specialist must also be made aware of any expectations, in order to work together with the primary care doctor to bring about the most optimal possible result for the patient.
Discussions between the referring doctor and pain management specialist should include such considerations as how long the process may take, how critical the patient’s needs are, how and when both physicians should communicate, and any other questions either party may have that will serve to benefit the patient and make the process more consistent and efficient.
Communication is Key
One of the biggest issues with referring patients is that a lack of communication between the referring physician and specialist can lead to a less effective and possibly prolonged treatment process for the patient. By working together to draw on the skills of each doctor for the mutual benefit of the patient, the entire process will be more effective, less frustrating and more enjoyable for all involved parties.
Shared Patient Management
During the referral process, physicians should collaborate — not compete — on all patient-related processes. A determination should be made as to who will manage what details of the patient’s care, so as not to lose track of any important steps that will best benefit the patient.
Disclosure of Patient Information
In order for specialists to make the most accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment protocol for the patient, all necessary information should be provided by the referring physician. This includes any documentation, medical history and medications the patient is taking. Additionally, the specialist should ask specific questions where necessary, to fill in any ‘blanks’ that are needed to ensure the best possible treatment regimen for the patient.
Would your patients benefit from the expertise of a pain management specialist?
At Florida Pain Relief Centers, we believe that open communication between our specialists and referring physicians is key to becoming pain management partners and providing quality care for the patient. Our goal is for you to refer with confidence, knowing that our pain management specialists are dedicated to relieving patients’ pain and restoring their quality of life.
Our pain management clinics utilize the most innovative medical pain management technologies available, so that we may provide patients with the most up-to-date, minimally invasive procedures for pain relief. Our board-certified physicians take a comprehensive approach to customizing an effective treatment plan that’s right for the individual patient.
We want to be a pain management partner
for you and your patients.
To learn more about Florida Pain Relief Centers physicians, locations or innovative treatments for pain, contact us directly by phone at 800.215.0029 or visit www.YourPainReliefCenters.com.
You can also complete your pain specialist referral online: