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Usually, thirty days’ notice of termination is considered adequate.In areas where it may difficult to find another psychiatrist, it may be appropriate to give longer notice.
If you think the patient is unable to make an informed decision, you may need to attempt to follow-up with the patient or involved members of the patient’s support network.
It is a good idea to have a written emergency or contingency plan regarding termination and transfer of care in the event of a crisis on the part of the psychiatrist.
DO recognize that patients may unilaterally decide to end treatment.
When a patient terminates, you should determine whether or not the patient is in crisis.
If the patient is not in crisis, then the psychiatrist should offer to provide the same information that is provided in the termination process.
If the patient is unwilling to discuss the decision, the psychiatrist’s attempts at communication should be documented and a detailed follow-up letter should be sent.