Contact with patients before prescribing

 

ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS RULES & REGULATIONS

540-X-9-.11 Contact with Patients before Prescribing.

(1) It is the position of the Board that prescribing drugs to an individual the prescriber has not personally examined is usually inappropriate. Before prescribing a drug, a physician should make an informed medical judgment based on the circumstances of the situation and on his or her training and experience. Ordinarily, this will require that the physician personally perform an appropriate history and physical examination, make a diagnosis, and formulate a therapeutic plan, a part of which might be a prescription. This process must be documented appropriately.

(2) Prescribing for a patient whom the physician has not personally examined may be suitable under certain circumstances. These may include, but not be limited to, admission orders for a patient newly admitted to a health care facility, prescribing for a patient of another physician for whom the prescriber is taking call, or continuing medication on a short-term basis for a new patient prior to the patient’s first appointment. Established patients may not require a new history and physical examination for each new prescription, depending on good medical practice.

(3) It is the position of the Board that prescribing drugs to individuals the physician has never met based solely on answers to a set of questions, as is common in Internet or toll-free telephone prescribing, is inappropriate and unprofessional.


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