The Doctors Company and UCSF Launch a Novel Collaboration to Advance Patient Safety in the Digital Era

Napa and San Francisco, CaliforniaMay 7, 2019—The Doctors Company—the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer—and UC San Francisco (UCSF)—a top-ranked health system and medical school—today launched a new partnership at the intersection of digital medicine and patient safety. The Doctors Company’s commitment to advancing the practice of good medicine will be expanded through a $1 million collaboration that will enable leading UCSF researchers in evidence-based patient safety practices, safety and information technology–related policy, and artificial intelligence (AI) to pursue cutting-edge questions.

Widespread digitization of the healthcare system over the past decade—including electronic health records (EHRs), apps, and sensors—offers new ways to study and address traditional patient safety challenges such as diagnostic and medication errors. There also are new challenges that stem directly from these emerging digital capabilities, including how to integrate AI tools into front-line care, mitigate alert fatigue, share data with patients, preserve the physician-patient relationship with increasing use of technology in the exam room and asynchronous communication tools, avoid physician burnout related to suboptimal EHR usability and performance, and ensure cybersecurity.

The Doctors Company–UCSF collaboration will maximize the strengths of both organizations to make substantive advances in patient safety and digital health through novel research and engagement, with the goal of safer care. According to Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and chief executive officer of The Doctors Company, “We are proud to partner with a world-class institution like UCSF in a mission-based collaboration that has the power to improve medical outcomes in the transformative sphere of digital healthcare.”

The UCSF team is led by two accomplished researchers—Julia Adler-Milstein, PhD, associate professor of medicine, and Urmimala Sarkar, MD, associate professor of medicine, who bring complementary expertise to the partnership. According to Dr. Adler-Milstein, “The primary goal of the partnership is to discover and disseminate new insights into risk mitigation strategies and patient safety by connecting top-tier UCSF researchers and unique resources and expertise from The Doctors Company. It is a rare and exciting opportunity to have two such organizations come together to jointly advance such an important area.”

Dr. Sarkar is specifically excited about “the valuable opportunity to learn more about errors in diagnosis for outpatient physicians across a range of practice settings, and to find creative ways to improve medical practice.” Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of UCSF’s Department of Medicine and a member of The Doctors Company’s Board of Governors, has championed this collaboration. “The Doctors Company insures 82,000 physicians in the U.S. and has a rare window into the causes of medical errors and strategies to mitigate them. By leveraging UCSF’s world-class research community, we believe that we can develop new insights into safety hazards and strategies to keep patients safe.”

About The Doctors Company

Founded and led by physicians, The Doctors Company (thedoctors.com) is relentlessly committed to advancing, protecting, and rewarding the practice of good medicine. The Doctors Company takes the mal out of malpractice insurance by helping hospitals and practices of all sizes manage the complexities of today’s healthcare environment—with expert guidance, resources, and coverage. The Doctors Company is the nation’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, with 82,000 members and over $4.5 billion in assets, and is rated A by A.M. Best Company and Fitch Ratings. To learn more about data-driven insights and to stay up to date on industry trends, follow and subscribe to The Doctors Company on Twitter (@doctorscompany), YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About UCSF

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals—UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland—as well as Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians and the UCSF Faculty Practice. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area. UCSF faculty also provide all physician care at the public Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and the SF VA Medical Center. The UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program is a major branch of the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine. Please visit www.ucsf.edu/news.

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