Integrating social workers into medical-legal partnerships: comprehensive problem solving for patients.
Medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) integrate legal services into the health care setting to resolve legal issues that have a negative impact on patient health. These partnerships between attorneys and health care professionals have traditionally focused on physicians. Despite early success and expansion of the MLP model, the literature is only beginning to explore the significant role that social workers can play in an MLP's development, process, and success. This article argues that MLPs are greatly enhanced when they seek the active engagement of a health center's social workers. All members of the MLP, however, should be aware of differing ethical and legal obligations in the medical, social work, and legal profession as well as differences in professional cultures that can affect the work of the partnership.
Delivery of Health Care; Humans; Interprofessional Relations; Lawyers; Models, Organizational; Patient Advocacy; Problem Solving; Social Problems; Social Work; United States
Colvin, J. D., Nelson, B., Cronin, K. Integrating social workers into medical-legal partnerships: comprehensive problem solving for patients. Social work 57, 333-341 (2012).