Practice Guidelines

Law, rules and regulations, not guidelines, specify the requirements for practice and violating them constitutes professional misconduct. Not adhering to this guideline may be interpreted as professional misconduct only if the conduct also violates pertinent law, rules and regulations, some citations of which are listed at the end of this guideline.

Guideline 7: Consultation with Other Professionals

You may only provide mental health services that you are personally competent to provide, even though the service may be included in the scope of practice for your profession. In the course of your practice, you may be faced with a patient whose condition or complaint is beyond your professional competence and training, so that you choose to consult with a colleague who is better qualified to treat the patient. You should seek informed consent, preferably in writing, from the patient for the consultation if it could reveal patient-identifiable information.

When you are consulting with another professional about a patient, you should remember that:

  • the patient must consent before confidential information is shared with another licensed professional;
  • whether consultation is in oral or written form, the consultation should be documented in the patient's record with a copy of the patient's signed consent included in the record;
  • you should provide a summary of your assessment of the patient, treatments implemented and results, and the desired outcome of the consultation;
  • if appropriate, you should discuss with the patient a potential transfer of care to another licensed professional and the discussion and plans should be reflected in the patient's chart;
  • you may choose to include the patient's self-reported physical health in your intake or assessment to determine whether the patient is currently or has been under medical treatment for a related condition and whether services should be coordinated with another provider.

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Citations of Pertinent Law, Rules or Regulations:

Last Updated: December 18, 2013