Identifying the “Most Responsible Physician”

August 03, 2023 |

To ensure the delivery of safe and quality care, there must always be an identified “Most Responsible Physician” (MRP) for each patient.

Physicians have a responsibility to ensure the MRP is always identified and known to the patient and care team. According to The Canadian Medical Protective Association,  “The term MRP generally refers to the physician who has overall responsibility for directing and coordinating the care and management of an individual patient at a specific point in time” (Source: Who is the most responsible physician? Check your knowledge).

This is an important consideration when there is movement of patients between or within healthcare facilities. Clear communication is essential to safety and good patient care.

When transferring care to another physician, the accepting physician must be provided with the necessary clinical information in a timely fashion to assume care and must agree to accept the transfer of care. Physicians must be vigilant in ensuring that the right people receive the relevant patient information and that transfer of MRP is clear to the patient, the care team, and the receiving physician. This explicit transfer of accountability as MRP is particularly important when transferring a patient with complex care needs or conditions to ensure safe and effective patient care.

We remind all registrants:

  • Timely and relevant patient information must be communicated to receiving MRP and care team during transfer of care such as patient handovers or inter-facility transfer.
  •  Communicate clearly to the patient, the name of the MRP.