Good practice often involves consulting with other professionals to ensure quality care.
- In agency settings, an occupational therapy professional with any question concerning professional practice can usually consult with a supervisor or other qualified professional.
- Occupational therapists in independent practice may be wise to use a consultant whenever they have any doubt concerning their interventions, or have other questions or concerns involving diagnosis, risk factors, or treatment techniques.Before consulting with other professionals, however, the patient must give consent to permit personally identifiable information to be revealed to a consultant, or for the occupational therapist to disguise the information so that the patient cannot be identified. Normally, in a hospital or clinic setting, the patient gives consent at the outset of care, but this is not always the case in private practice settings. Prior to the consultation, if the patient does not give consent, all personally identifiable information must be removed.
- Occupational therapy professionals who attend post-licensure training programs or workshops to improve their skills or learn new techniques should follow the same guidelines. If information regarding their specific patients is used in these settings the patients must give consent or all identifiable information must be removed from the presentation.
- Finally, it is good practice to appropriately document all consultations with occupational therapists and other professionals in the patient's record. Consultation with appropriate health care professionals and the sharing of relevant of information helps to ensure the coordination and continuity of care.