Practice Improvement

Jan 24, 2018
Avoid Being Put on the RAC: Be Prepared for a Recovery Audit Contractor Audit
Kathleen Stillwell, MPA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company.
Any medical practice submitting claims to a government program may contend with a Recovery Audit Contractor.

Dec 15, 2017
Frequently Asked Questions: Americans with Disabilities Act
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel
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.

Nov 27, 2017
The Quality Payment Program: What You Need to Know for 2018
Beth Hickerson, Quality Improvement Advisor, Medical Advantage Group
The government recently announced 2018 changes to the Quality Payment Program. Many of these changes add flexibility and higher exemption requirements—welcome news to medical practices.

Oct 24, 2017
Give Your Patient Safety Culture a Check Up Using Assessment Survey
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Healthcare managers are making concerted efforts to cultivate a pervasive culture of patient safety. Creating a patient safety culture shifts the focus away from the blame game that punishes individuals for failures—which can increase liability over the long term—toward creating policies and procedures that cultivate an environment of openness and foster patient safety.

Sep 22, 2017
Five Best Practices to Meet MACRA Requirements by the End of the Year
Kim Hathaway, MSN, CPHRM, Healthcare Quality and Risk Consultant, The Doctors Company
As the end of the third quarter of 2017 approaches, practices that have not yet developed their Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) plan face great urgency to complete their plan—and those who have started may be feeling overwhelmed. Regardless of the reporting stage, these steps can help guide practices to succeed.

Aug 15, 2017
Objective Review of Potential Risks in a Medical Practice Can Be Beneficial
Ted Abernathy, MD, Managing Partner, Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners
Ted Abernathy, MD, Managing Partner of Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners discusses his experience with an assessment service offered by The Doctors Company which provided his practice with a comprehensive checkup of key areas and customized action plan.

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.

Mar 01, 2017
Boost Patient Safety: How to Reduce Risks with Vaccinations
Debbie Hill, RN, MBA, CPHRM, and Lisa McCorkle, MSN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Managers, The Doctors Company
Physicians should always be attentive to the importance of timely vaccines against infectious diseases for patients of all ages. Whether you’re seeing patients for back-to-school immunizations or preparing adult patients for travel abroad, this article can help you assess the vaccine administration protocol in your practice to reduce risks and enhance patient safety.

Dec 14, 2016
The Doctor’s Dilemma
Howard Marcus, MD, FACP
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Oct 26, 2016
Optimize the EHR: Better Workflow Means Better Work-Life Balance
Chad Anguilm, Director of Professional Services, Medical Advantage Group. Medical Advantage Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Doctors Company.
There are tools that can streamline patient care and payment workflows in the electronic health record (EHR). By dedicating time and effort up front to optimize the EHR, physicians can get relief from administrative tasks, reduce duplicate entry of data, and save time by not having to search for records in multiple places.

Jul 26, 2016
CANDOR Toolkit: Physicians Now Have the Right Tools to Do the Right Thing After an Adverse Event
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
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.

May 18, 2016
Digital Medicine and the Future of Healthcare
The digitization of medicine is transforming the entire healthcare system—new technologies like mobile apps and wearables bring both benefits and risks, patient access to healthcare is evolving, EHRs have created new patient safety risks, and artificial intelligence is evolving to play a role in future patient care.

Feb 23, 2016
Smile! The Doctor Is on Camera: The Pros and Cons of Recording Office Visits and Procedures
Rich Cahill, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
As smartphones have become ubiquitous—giving patients a video and audio recorder that’s always at hand—the question of whether or not these devices should be allowed in the clinic or hospital setting is becoming increasingly more common. The issue of allowing patients to record their appointments requires balancing potential privacy and liability risks with the potential benefits of improved patient recollection of instructions and treatment adherence.

Feb 18, 2016
Are Decisions Shared?
Robin Diamond, JD, RN, Senior Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
There is a growing emphasis on patient-centered care and shared decision making in healthcare.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Jan 13, 2016
There’s an App for That: Benefits and Risks of Using Mobile Apps for Healthcare
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, Senior Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
With over 100,000 mobile health apps now available, physicians now have to handle an increasing amount of constant data and patient information that they did not have in the past. Mobile apps offer many benefits, but the use of these apps does not come without liability risks for doctors.

Dec 03, 2015
Stressed Out During the Holidays? Try These Tips to Avoid Burnout
Stress and fatigue, which can increase during the holiday season, can put physicians at risk of making significant errors and lead to negative patient outcomes.

Oct 19, 2015
Navigating Risks in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: How Physicians Can Enhance Patient Safety
Penny Greenberg, RN, MS, Senior Program Director, Patient Safety Services, CRICO Strategies; Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM, Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company; Dana Siegal, RN, CPHRM, Director, Patient Safety, CRICO Strategies
Patients diagnosed with breast cancer must navigate the complex healthcare system while dealing with the emotions of their diagnosis, relying on the expertise, communication, and empathy of caregivers who practice in environments with inherent risks. A study by The Doctors Company and CRICO Strategies reveals the top patient safety risks in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and how to reduce those risks.

Aug 04, 2015
On Alert: What All Doctors Need to Know About Alzheimer’s Disease
Cynthia Morrison, RN, ARM, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
As the population ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death. Early diagnosis of dementia, requiring the expertise of a neuropsychiatric physician who specializes in dementia, is essential to allow for maximum quality of life. Physicians of all specialties should become familiar with the early signs of this disease in order to refer patients with symptoms to a specialist for further testing.

Jul 08, 2015
Laboratory and Diagnostic Test Tracking in Ambulatory Practice
Dana Faber, RN, BS, Patient Safety Risk Manager.
Inadequate clinical laboratory and diagnostic test tracking is a top factor leading to patient injury.

Apr 20, 2015
Shining a Light on Skin Cancer: All Doctors Should Be on the Lookout
Rosanne Cain, RN, BSN, LHRM, ASLNC-C, Patient Safety/Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Doctors of all specialties have a duty to take action for patients with suspicious lesions and to educate patients about skin cancer awareness. Referring patients for early detection and treatment can save lives and protect doctors from potential liability.

Mar 12, 2015
Social Media Resources for Physicians
Establishing your online presence on social media allows you to engage with patients, grow your reputation, and make your voice heard. These resources can help you get started on social media and expand your online presence.

Feb 25, 2015
Documenting Staff Competency
Nurses, medical assistants, and other clinical staff must be properly trained and certified. Physicians, or qualified supervisors, should observe staff members as they conduct specific procedures and document their performance.

Jan 01, 2015
Off-Label Use: Patient Safety and Risk Management Implications
Kim Hathaway, MSN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company.
The standard for appropriate off-label use of medications and other products is what other similarly trained physicians would do, not what the manufacturer of the medication or product recommends.

Dec 10, 2014
Editorial Comment on Maintenance of Certification
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
Dr. Troxel suggests ways to restructure the MoC examination process to adapt it to changes in the healthcare delivery system.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Aug 26, 2014
A Team Approach to Reducing Risk
Paul Bauer, MD, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Medicine, and Tara Benton, MD, MSCI, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Dec 20, 2013
Interactive Guide to Patient Safety for Office Practices
This interactive guide is designed to help you uncover areas of potential malpractice exposure in your practice.

Dec 08, 2013
Defective Devices
Jerrald R. Goldman, MD, Governor Emeritus, and Victoria H. Rollins, MHA, RN, Director, Patient Safety Programs, The Doctors Company
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Nov 21, 2013
Medical Clearance Does Not Clear the Patient or Physician of Risks
"Medical clearance" is when a surgeon requests clearance before performing surgery on a patient. The goals of the assessment are to determine the level of risk and to identify opportunities to mitigate risk, with an exchange of information between the surgeon and the assessing physician.

Jan 31, 2013
Be Wary of Being a “Dr. House”: Relying Too Much on Intuition Is Risky
The use of heuristics (intuition and rule-of-thumb techniques or mental short cuts) can improve efficiency and decision-making effectiveness for physicians, but it could also lead to negative patient outcomes and increased liability risk.

May 29, 2012
In Pursuit of Quality: Embedding Patient Safety into Practice
Sara Olson, BSN, RN.
The Doctors Company’s Quality Factor Program is an innovative initiative that helps practices implement and sustain patient safety improvements.

Dec 20, 2011
Back from the Edge: Coping with Physician Stress
David Hanscom, MD, a board certified orthopedic surgeon practicing in Seattle, Washington.
Doctors live with a combination of pressures that can result in burnout. Dr. David Hanscom describes his personal journey.

Jul 26, 2011
Medical Simulation: The New Frontier in Patient Safety
By Dieter Zimmer, MHA, FAAMA, Regional Vice President, The Doctors Company; Marion Y. Constable, MSN, CNM, Director of Simulation and the Obstetrical Collaborative, The Doctors Company; and Roxane Gardner, MD, MPH, DSc, Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Simulation Specialist, Center for Medical Simulation.
Medical simulation offers an effective way for physicians to hone their technical expertise in a safe learning environment.

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