Florida – Internal Medicine – Patient With Suicidal Ideations Referred To A Psychiatrist For The Following Day

On 12/1/2014, a 68-year-old female presented to an internist for a three-month follow-up appointment for hyperlipidemia, anxiety with panic attack, and hypertension.  The patient reported a twenty-year history of untreated depression that was worsening.

The patient reported suicidal ideations, including that the patient had been sitting with a gun to her head.

The internist’s progress note for the patient included a statement that the patient needed to see a psychiatrist that day.  The internist referred the patient to a psychiatrist and scheduled an appointment with the patient with the psychiatrist the following day.

The Board judged the internist’s conduct to be below the minimal standard of competence given that he failed to arrange for the patient to be escorted to a psychiatrist or an emergency department that day.

The Board issued a letter of concern against the internist’s license.  The Board ordered that the internist pay a fine of $5,000 against her license and pay reimbursement costs for the case at a minimum of $1,983.04 and not to exceed $3,983.04.  The Board also ordered that the internist complete five hours of continuing medical education in depression, which shall include the diagnosis and treatment of patients with depression, and complete five hours of continuing medical education in “risk management.”

State: Florida

Date: June 2017

Specialty: Internal Medicine, Psychiatry

Symptom: Psychiatric Symptoms

Diagnosis: Psychiatric Disorder

Medical Error: Delay in proper treatment

Significant Outcome: N/A

Case Rating: 2

Link to Original Case File: Download PDF

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