Health Professionals Service Program

The Health Professionals Service Program (HPSP) is designed to protect the public, as well as to help licensed health care professionals practice safely.  Conditions that may be eligible include physical health conditions, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders or combinations thereof.

What do you, as a psychologist need to know?  If you are concerned about a colleague who is not acting like themselves, is struggling either suddenly or having an episodic set of performance difficulties at work with technical items, impaired clinical decision making, or poor impulse control, you may be interested in engaging with the HPSP.  These performance difficulties are of more concern especially paired with tardiness, erratic behaviors of other types, or perhaps charting, email or phone messages that are of great concern.  You could fulfill your ethical obligation, if you decide you need to make a report, by reporting that professional to HPSP rather than to the licensing board of that professional.  If said behavior is due to a health condition and HPSP has jurisdiction, this could allow the person to get evaluation, proper treatment for whatever condition or conditions are present, and the monitoring necessary to ensure safe practice.  If HPSP has to turn the person or case over to the proper board, they surely will; however, it helps with proper triage of conditions to allow HPSP to provide this very important service.

Just as the public would not want a dentist, for example, to be practicing with a serious hand tremor which could impact where Novocaine or drilling occurred, specific licensed health care professions have some special needs and risks.  We as the public expect to have professionals who are in reasonable health, or ones who are doing what they need to be doing to address the health concerns that may arise.  Professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, and physicians have higher risk factors with certain medication access, in that as a job requirement many times they are in close contact with and utilizing such substances daily.  Of course, everyone has access to alcohol, any street drugs, or the possibility of misuse of medication (that was prescribed for one person or condition but used for another or by another, higher dosages than directed, and so forth).

What happens?  Well, you could check out the HPSP website which has sections for how to make a report, as well as information for quarterly reports for treatment professionals and for the work site monitor.  People have individualized assessments by professionals in whichever field, and to retain a professional license may choose to be monitored by HPSP for some period of time to ensure safe practice.  Boards may refer people to HPSP, people may be referred by others, or individuals may self-refer.

Lois Cochrane Schlutter, PhD, LP, CCDPD has been MPA’s representative to the HPSP Advisory Board for a number of years.  She has credentials in two of the three areas, and considers it a great honor to serve psychology and MPA.  Dr. Schlutter has APA special certification in alcohol and substance use disorders, as well as a co-occurring chemical dependency professional diplomate certification. Additionally, she owns businesses, practices, and supervises in these areas.

Share this post:

Comments on "Health Professionals Service Program"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment

Diversity Statement

The Minnesota Psychological Association actively encourages the participation of all psychologists regardless of age, creed, race, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental status, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation, and sexual or affectional orientation.Although we are an organization of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, the Minnesota Psychological Association also recognizes our core unifying identities as Psychologists who practice in America. We also recognize that we may hold unintentional attitudes and beliefs that influence our perceptions of and interactions with others. Within this context of unity and self-exploration, we are committed to increasing our sensitivity to all aspects of diversity as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.We aspire to becoming alert to aspects of diversity, previously unseen or unacknowledged in our culture. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with multicultural groups to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society. To this end, we are dedicated to increasing our multicultural competencies and effectiveness as educators, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and practitioners.