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Circle of Care

Circle of Care

The concept of a "circle of care" can be understood from two different approaches: a legal perspective and a practical one. Taking into account various legal considerations, the circle of care refers to those individuals who have access to a patient's personal health information; when consent is initially given, the implication is that the circle of care will include doctors, nursing professionals, therapists, pharmacists, etc. The circle of care can vary from location to location, with different facilities reflecting their ability to meet patients' different needs in the makeup of the circle of care. In a basic doctor's office, the circle of care includes the aforementioned individuals; in a hospital setting, this circle of care can also include residents or medical students, members of clinical staff, or any of the various hospital employees that might be assigned to a particular patient or patients.

From a practical perspective, the concept of a circle of care can be used to ensure all the patient's basic needs are met when interacting with medical professionals. The circle of care signifies a collaborative approach, one that utilizes the skills and resources of a host of individuals to come up with a treatment plan incorporating short- and long-term elements to provide the patient with the best possible outcomes. In a doctor's office, this circle of care would include intake personnel, nursing staff, the physician, and those individuals that provide follow-up information; in a hospital setting, this circle of care is marked by thorough communication between medical professionals, accurate and detailed record keeping, and the education and incorporation of family members that can continue care beyond the hospital walls. By recognizing that the patient needs more than just the brief interaction with the physician and that true healing comes with awareness and contributions of a host of individuals, this approach seems to afford the best opportunities for a patient to experience positive outcomes.

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A research paper on circle of care discuss the concept which can be understood from a legal perspective and a practical one.

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