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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Circular 72-02


DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE
Public Health Service
Health Services and Mental Health Administration
Indian Health Service
Rockville, Maryland 20852

INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE CIRCULAR NO. 72-02


Effective Date:  November 20, 1972

SCHEDULES - HEALTH SERVICES OFFICER OF THE DAY

  1. PURPOSE.  To set forth requirements for providing proper health services to eligible persons.

  2. OBJECTIVE.  To assure availability of medically sound, effective and efficient health services in the Indian Health Service facilities for all persons at all times.

  3. POLICY.  Each IHS facility will establish and maintain a Health Services Officer of the Day schedule to provide 24 hour coverage of emergency rooms, outpatient clinics and inpatient services.  The Officer of the Day will be either a physician or a qualified allied health professional who has been properly evaluated by a senior physician for certification by the IHS Area or Program Office Director.  This certification may be delegated to the Service Unit Director where appropriate.  The use of allied health professionals for such duty is acceptable only with the approval of the community, and with the provision of a back-up physician who will be available for immediate consultation and assistance.

    Each patient arriving at an IHS facility for care must be seen promptly by an appropriate health worker as defined above.  If a patient is seen by an allied health worker and then specifically requests to be seen by a physician as well, the request must be honored.

    Final responsibility for all health services rendered by an allied health professional serving as Officer of the Day will reside with the physician.  A physician will countersign all notes or orders entered into patient records.

  4. SUPERSESSION.  Supersedes IHS Circular 63-3.  Pen and ink changes on Index of Current IHS Circulars No. 72-1.

/Emery A. Johnson, M.D./
Emery A. Johnson, M.D.
Assistant Surgeon General
Director, Indian Health Service


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