What is a Prudent Layperson?

A Prudent Lay Person (or Layperson, abbreviated PLP) is a standard for deciding if an Emergency Room visit is necessary and presenting condition(s) of the patient reasonably warrant immediate attention.

The standard defines an emergency as a condition that a prudent lay person, “who possesses an average knowledge of health and medicine” expects, may result in:

1. Serious medical harm, or:

2. Serious impairment of bodily function, or:

3: Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ.

The standard was first enacted in 1992, “spurred by incidents of patients with genuine acute illness who delayed care for fear of being stuck with the hospital bill, said John C. Nelson, MD, president-elect of the American Medical Association.” (Amednews.com)

You can learn even more here: PrudentLay: What is a Prudent Layperson?

“Prudent layperson standard.” McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. 2002. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. 6 Jul. 2015

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