ANCHOR LEAD: A SIMPLE ACRONYM CAN HELP PHYSICIANS DECIDE WHETHER A PATIENT CAN MAKE HIS OWN MEDICAL DECISIONS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Acronyms are very useful devices to assist physicians and other medical professionals remember checklists with multiple components. Now the acronym “Curves” is being used to help health providers assess whether a patient is competent to make medical decisions. Joseph Carrese, an internal medicine and bioethics expert at Johns Hopkins, is one author of a paper describing the use of Curves in the journal ‘Chest.’
CARRESE: What curves is about is helping physicians primarily assess the decision making capacity of patients in situations where it may be difficult to recall the components and elements of how to do that, and in particular emergency situations where there may be a lot of stress, there may be time pressure and it can be hard to remember what you should be looking at and evaluating to determine whether patients have sufficient capacity to be making their own decisions. :24
Carrese says the utility of acronyms is well established and hopes curves will help assure the best care of the patient. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.