Communication

JUN 14, 2017
Take Note: How Medical Scribes Are Trained—And Used—Varies Widely
Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Simulation, Oregon Health and Science University
Though it is the fastest growing medical field, there is little regulation or standardization for training scribes. In this article, Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University discusses the risks of using scribes based on a national survey of The Doctors Company's members.

APR 17, 2017
Prescribing Opioids Safely: How to Have Difficult Patient Conversations
Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., and opioids account for over 60 percent of those deaths. Building a strong doctor-patient rapport can help facilitate tough conversations with patients about opioid prescriptions and reduce risks that could lead to malpractice suits.

MAR 16, 2017
San Diego Death Diaries
Dr. Roneet Lev provides insights into the prescription opioid abuse epidemic.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

MAR 16, 2017
Analysis of Medication-Related Claims from The Doctors Company
Dr. David Troxel reviews 1,770 closed by The Doctors Company in which patient harm involved medication factors.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

FEB 24, 2017
Rx for Patient Safety: Ask Me 3
Victoria H. Rollins, MHA, RN, Director, Patient Safety Programs.
The Ask Me 3 program is a time-efficient, effective tool that encourages patients to participate in their healthcare by asking questions.

FEB 17, 2017
Up for Review: Five Keys to Managing Online Criticism
No matter how professional and caring a doctor you may be, eventually you will face criticism on the web. Here are five keys to managing that criticism.

FEB 03, 2017
To Text or Not to Text
Julie Song, MPH, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Without appropriate safeguards, texting can lead to violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

NOV 29, 2016
Watch for the Signs: Screen All Patients for Suicidal Thoughts
Patients with suicidal thoughts or ideation appear occasionally in physician encounters. Any patient, no matter what issue is being treated and in any setting, could be at risk for suicide. A consistent and formal screening process, plus a response plan, will protect both the patient and the physician.

NOV 08, 2016
Meeting the Challenges of the Nonadherent Orthopedic Surgical Patient
Cynthia Morrison, RN, CPHRM, and Amy Wasdin, RN, CPHRM
Orthopedic surgeons can reduce potential liability by following these tips for managing nonadherent patient behavior.

SEP 22, 2016
Electronic Health Record Malpractice Risks
David B. Troxel, MD
It is important for physicians to become familiar with liability risks associated with electronic health records.

SEP 20, 2016
Money Talks: Discussing Cost with Patients Before Treatment Is a Win-Win
The physician needs to be involved in making sure that the patient is informed and educated about the financial burden of surgical and medical treatments. Doing this before proceeding with treatment can help lower the risk of a malpractice claim even when the medical outcome doesn’t meet the patient’s expectations.

AUG 11, 2016
Missed Opportunities
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Miscommunication and missed opportunities resulting from hurried handoffs can produce fatal results.

JUL 26, 2016
CANDOR Toolkit: Physicians Now Have the Right Tools to Do the Right Thing After an Adverse Event
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed the Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) Toolkit to help hospitals and doctors communicate openly and effectively with patients after adverse events.

JUN 13, 2016
Telephone Communication for Physicians
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS, Laura A. Dixon, JD, RN, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
When carelessly conducted, telephone communications can lead to diagnostic errors and misunderstandings that culminate in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits.

MAY 06, 2016
Shared Responsibility for Preventing Malpractice Suits–Patient Interactions
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Carol Murray, RHIA, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II.
The basic emotions leading to any medical liability action are surprise, disappointment, and anger.

MAY 01, 2016
Effective Obstetrical Team Communication
Cynthia Morrison, RN, CPHRM
Effective communication requires a team effort for the exchange of concise and relevant information.

OCT 26, 2015
Reducing the Risk of Retained Foreign Objects During Surgery
Medical RFI (radio frequency identification) chip technology is now available to track sponges and surgical towels used during a procedure.

APR 13, 2015
Damage Control: Dealing with Online Patient Complaints
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, and David O. Hester, FASHRM, CPHRM
There is no easy remedy to completely eradicate negative comments once they are on the Internet.

FEB 19, 2015
What Patients Should Know About Pain Management
When prescribing narcotic drugs for pain management, doctors should ensure that patients are fully informed of the medicine’s risks and benefits, as well as alternatives to drug treatment.

FEB 01, 2015
Patient Selection for Elective Procedures
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
The patient selection process is a valuable tool for loss control, because many claims occur with patients who are not appropriate candidates for a procedure.

JAN 21, 2015
Working with Patients Who Do Not Follow the Treatment Plan
Patients who do not follow the treatment plan may become high liability risks because their behavior often exacerbates existing health problems, which can lead to negative outcomes.

DEC 12, 2014
Curbside Consultations
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Physicians should be aware of the potential liability of informal "curbside" consultations, especially if expectations between the physicians are not clearly communicated.

DEC 12, 2014
Shared Responsibility for Preventing Malpractice Suits: Special Circumstances
By David O. Hester, FASHRM, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager.
Develop procedures for your staff to help reduce communication errors with hospitals, labs, and other physicians, as well as communications within the office.

DEC 02, 2014
Informed Refusal
Documenting a patient’s refusal of test or treatment options is key to minimizing risk exposure.

NOV 01, 2014
Bad Outcomes: From Surprise and Disappointment to Anger and a Lawsuit
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS, and Richard Cahill, JD
Anger is by far the most common factor that moves a patient to file a malpractice claim.

SEP 01, 2014
The Internet: Friend or Foe to Physicians
Robin Diamond, JD, RN
Physicians must use care in dealing with Internet review sites used by consumers.

MAR 25, 2014
Encourage Patients to "Speak Up"
The Joint Commission's"Speak Up" campaign urges patients to take an active role in preventing errors by becoming more involved in and informed about their healthcare.

DEC 20, 2013
Telephone Triage and Medical Advice
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Telephone communication, a critical part of the patient's overall care and management, presents a significant area of liability exposure.

NOV 01, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions: Treating Patients in a Difficult Economy
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, and Richard Cahill, Esq.
Our experts answer questions about billing issues, including when patients are unable or unwilling to pay doctor charges.

OCT 21, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions: Americans with Disabilities Act
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Our experts answer questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is designed to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities and provide enforceable standards to address such discrimination.

JUN 26, 2013
No-Show New Patients May Leave Physicians at Risk
Physicians face certain risks and responsibilities when collecting patient information prior to the patient arriving for his or her appointment.

SEP 14, 2012
Challenging Communications
Laura A. Dixon, JD, RN
Communication breakdowns are a frequent risk management finding in claims, as highlighted in this case study.

FEB 08, 2012
Imperative Conversations: Managing Transitions of Care in the Hospital
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Standardizing the handoff process has been shown to lower rates of perceived near-miss events and adverse outcomes.

OCT 01, 2011
Signing Off and Signing Out: Lost in Translation
Ann S. Lofsky, MD, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
Whether signing out to a colleague for the weekend or permanently closing a practice, handing off responsibility for patient care can create liability risks for the physician.

SEP 01, 2011
Patient-Centered Communications: Building Patient Rapport
Wendy G. Anderson, MD, MS
Communication skills can help hospitalists overcome barriers to care by ensuring a clear exchange of information that engenders patient trust.

JUL 01, 2011
Addressing Patient Issues and Other Challenging Situations
Pamela Willis, BSN, JD
Proactively address issues with patients through clear communication.

JUL 01, 2011
Eight Little Words
Ann S. Lofsky, MD
No wording will be more carefully scrutinized than that in a medical record involved in a malpractice trial.

DEC 20, 2010
Fire Safety in the Surgical Suite
Susan K. Palmer, MD, and Ernest E. Allen
Besides conducting annual fire drills that include what to do if a fire occurs on a patient, it is also wise to review fire risks in high-risk procedures prior to the start of the surgical procedure.

JUN 22, 2010
Focusing on Missed or Delayed Diagnosis
Robin Diamond, JD, RN, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN
This companion article to "An Analysis of Internal Medicine Malpractice Claims" focuses on the types of claims seen in the allegation of missed or delayed diagnosis.

SEP 01, 1999
Obtaining Informed Consent in a Teaching Situation
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS
It is important to inform patients when a resident physician will perform all or part of a procedure.

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