Physicians who participate in Florida CARES will usually fall into one of the following categories:
1. No Deficiencies– Physicians in this category are determined to be within the standard of care on all measured dimensions. There are no remediation recommendations. However, the assessment is also a learning experience. It provides physicians with suggestions for improvement and skills enhancement.
2. Minor Deficiencies– These physicians are also judged to demonstrate medical skills that fall within the general standard of care. However, there may be minor deficits that should be corrected (e.g., incomplete documentation) through traditional continuing medical education. These deficits are judged to not represent significant patient care issues.
3. Moderate or Specific Deficiencies– In this case the physician’s general medical practice is determined to fall within the standard of care. However, there is likely a specific practice area (e.g., use of certain medications or specific procedure) where the physician has a noted deficiency. In this case the physician may be competent to provide safe and competent patient care with the recommendation that he/she refrain from a specific procedure or area of patient care (i.e. inpatient care) until he /she can demonstrate competency in that area.
4. Significant Deficiencies– These physicians have demonstrated deficiencies across several domains of the evaluation or in areas that appear central to their practice of medicine (e.g., an obstetrician who fails to recognize signs of fetal distress). In these cases, recommendations include extensive prescribed continuing education and /or that the physician is allowed to practice only under supervision before being allowed to resume the independent practice of medicine.
5. Global Deficiencies– In this case the physician is determined to currently be practicing below the standard of care for his or her specialty. However, it is felt that the physician has the capacity to develop these skills (e.g., an obstetrician who fails to recognize signs of fetal distress). In this case it would be recommended that the physician refrain from practice until completing extensive remediation (e.g. repeat residency or limited fellowship) and demonstrating competency.
6. Catastrophic Deficiencies– In these situations the physician is determined to be practicing below the standard of care with little chance of improvement through remediation efforts (e.g., physician suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, mental health or character disorder etc.). In this case it is recommended that the physician not practice medicine in any capacity.