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Delegation of Duties to Unlicensed Staff

When assigning tasks to unlicensed staff, ensure there’s a physician-patient relationship, provide adequate training, have licensed personnel on-site for oversight, and delegate tasks within your expertise. Check out the video for further details!

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Delegation To Licensed and Unlicensed Personnel



There are four factors that you want to consider when you’re delegating duties to unlicensed staff. So if you’re delegating a particular modality to your unlicensed staff, there are four things that you want to keep in mind. The first is this, there has to be a physician-patient relationship. So you want to make sure that you have seen this patient, you have made a determination of what their diagnosis is, and you’ve developed a treatment plan of which a portion of that you’re going to delegate to that unlicensed staff in your practice. So you want to make sure that you do have a physician-patient relationship.

The second thing is to make sure that the person you’re delegating to has been fully trained and is experienced enough to be able to deliver that quality care on your behalf, on your delegation authority to the patient, so you want to make sure that they’re fully trained and educated in the service in which they’re going to be performing in the task that you’ve given them. The third is this, you want to make sure that someone is on-site who is licensed to be able to oversee or supervise as the law states that provide assistance to the person who is delivering that care. This means that if you’re the only physician, the only licensed personnel in your practice, and you delegate a particular duty to an unlicensed chiropractic assistant, in those cases, you can’t delegate it, and then go to lunch. That means you also can’t delegate it on Wednesday and have the staff member come in on Thursday if you’re going to be out on the links as an example, you want to make sure that someone who is licensed to perform those tasks is there and available on-site to provide assistance. That’s number three.

The fourth thing is you want to make sure that whatever you’re delegating is not just within the scope of practice, of course, that that seems like a given, but also within your education, training, and experience. That means that you’re not able to send a staff member to go get trained on a particular modality, and then delegate to them if you are not also trained in that particular modality. Now, we saw this a lot with low laser therapies and things along those lines where we would have chiropractic physicians who would send staff members to be trained, but they themselves had not gone through the training. Now, I believe, we don’t see that near as much. But we want to make sure that you know that you have to be fully trained and educated on the modality that you’re going to be delegating to your staff. This isn’t just something you can have them be educated in, as well. So the four things again, physician-patient relationship, the person you’re delegating to has to be trained and experienced to be able to deliver that task, that someone who is licensed to be able to perform that task is on-site and available to provide assistance, and the fourth is that has to be within your training and expertise as well. Hopefully, this helps you out we’ll catch you next week.

About Author

Marc Abla, CAE

Marc Abla began working at the Illinois Chiropractic Society in 2002 and became the Executive Director in 2008. He brings his extensive financial, administrative and association experience to the ICS. He is a Certified Association Executive and a graduate of the Certified Leadership Series through the Illinois Society of Association Executives. Additionally, he is a member of the Illinois Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, Association Forum, Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, and the American Chiropractic Association.

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