If your practice doesn’t have clear policies and procedures regarding chaperoned exams, or if they aren’t consistently followed, it may be time to revisit this important subject. Start by discussing chaperone preferences with your patients and physician colleagues, which will surface key issues and help you draft effective policies and procedures such as these:
• Offer a medical chaperone to any patient undergoing genital, rectal, breast, or full-body skin exams.
• Provide information explaining chaperones and chaperoned exams when a patient first seeks care at your practice.
• Document in every patient's chart his or her preference regarding chaperones.
• Develop chaperone selection criteria that consider issues such as gender and training.
• Develop guidelines that support both the physician and the patient in cases where a patient declines a chaperoned exam but the physician prefers one.
Practices should also consider staffing limitations and any applicable state laws or organizational mandates related to chaperones.
Adapted from “The Case for Medical Chaperones.”
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