Using a Patient Contract During Buprenorphine Treatment
Discussing rules and expectations is an important step when starting a patient on buprenorphine treatment. Some providers choose to use a printed patient contract that clearly spells out the rules and terms of treatment. Such a document protects both the patient and the provider; it explains privacy and confidentiality and outlines the patient's responsibilities in treatment, as well as the consequences for breaking the rules of the contract.
When writing a patient contract, be sure to spell out the offenses that are allowable to some extent (e.g., a patient who misses one appointment can continue in treatment) and those that are not allowable (e.g., a patient who steals from or vandalizes the office will be discharged from treatment).