Communication

Jan 30, 2024
Patient Safety Strategies for Surrogate Births
Pamela Willis, BSN, JD, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company, Part of TDC Group
Surrogate pregnancies present unique challenges that require planning and clear communication.

Dec 21, 2023
Suicide Prevention: Primary Care Is a Crucial Setting for Identifying Risk
Debra Davidson, MJ, CPPS, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
At any given time, some of your patients are having thoughts of suicide. Effective suicide prevention requires a comprehensive approach.

Dec 05, 2023
Set Expectations for New Patients With a Conditions of Treatment Agreement
Debra Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, and Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Consider developing a plan to preemptively manage challenging patient behaviors when they are first identified.

Nov 30, 2023, MedCity News
Practice Risk Assessment: Do You Know What Your Patients Are Taking?
Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, discusses how clinicians can promote positive outcomes and mitigate practice liability risks at a time when patients may be accessing care from myriad sources.

Nov 27, 2023
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Patients: Top FAQs
Debra Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, and Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Healthcare professionals who accept Medicare and Medicaid patients must comply with federal laws pertaining to language assistance for LEP patients. We answer frequently asked questions.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Nov 09, 2023, Medscape
Recording Residents' Patient Exams Raises Skills―And Privacy Concerns
Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, provides strategies for healthcare providers and clinics to avoid legal trouble surrounding patient recording.

Oct 01, 2023
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Call or Text 988
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now 988, an easy-to-remember number for 24/7 crisis care.

Aug 18, 2023
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Patients: Frequently Asked Questions
Debra Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, and Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
To help you understand LEP requirements, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions with strategies to ensure compliance.

Jul 28, 2023
Quick Check: Patient Dismissal Process
Our Quick Check tool can help you improve your process for dismissing patients from your practice.

Jul 28, 2023
Quick Check: Informed Consent Process
Using our Quick Check tool can help you improve your informed consent process and documentation.

Jul 28, 2023
Quick Check: Dissatisfied Patient Management
Our Quick Check tool can help you improve how your practice identifies and manages dissatisfied patients.

Jul 11, 2023
Patient Safety Strategies for Hospitalists
Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
Hospitalists face liability risks based on their diverse roles as an inpatient’s attending physician, covering physician, consultant, supervising physician, and/or co-manager. Common problems include confusion regarding the hospitalist’s responsibilities in the patient care continuum and miscommunication during different phases of inpatient care.

May 30, 2023
The Importance of Clinical Health Information at the Point of Radiology Order
Lisa M. McCorkle, MSN, MBA, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
Having ready access to patients’ clinical information helps radiologists eliminate assumptions and apply their skills and expertise in rendering accurate interpretive reports.

May 30, 2023
Americans with Disabilities Act: Frequently Asked Questions
Debra Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, and Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Practitioners can face steep penalties for failing to comply with federal mandates that protect individuals with disabilities.

May 01, 2023
Dealing With Online Patient Complaints
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
Clinicians are understandably concerned about their reputations and the consequences of any negative comments posted about them on social media platforms.

Apr 26, 2023
Curbside Consultations: Patient Safety and Legal Risks
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Informal consultations are tempting to busy healthcare practitioners because they are convenient and speedy, but these situations also include inherent liability risks for the consulting practitioner.

Apr 25, 2023
Nonadherent and Noncompliant Patients: Overcoming Barriers
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Nonadherent or noncompliant patient conduct (whether intentional or inadvertent) can adversely affect clinical outcomes, undermine the practitioner-patient relationship, and disrupt the operation of practice.

Apr 11, 2023
Disclosure Resources
Practitioners can use these guidelines to help mitigate liability risks when disclosing adverse events and complications.

Apr 01, 2023, Healthcare Risk Management
Avoid Patient Abandonment Claims with Education, Follow-Up
Sue Boisvert, BSN, MHSA, CPPS, CPHRM, DFASHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, shares insights on how good policies and strong communication can reduce the risk of patient abandonment claims.

Mar 17, 2023
Obtaining Informed Consent in Teaching Institutions
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Given the nature of teaching institutions—where individuals in training participate in patient care to varying degrees—the informed consent process is more complex and can present additional liability risks.

Feb 23, 2023, Medscape
To Friend or Not To Friend on Social Media
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group, provides insight on utilizing social media for medical-related discussions.

Feb 10, 2023
Communication Breakdowns Lead to Missed Spinal Epidural Abscess: Case Study
Michelle Swift, JD, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
Experts discuss a case involving multiple communication breakdowns that contributed to the patient’s poor outcome and provide strategies to improve processes.

Jan 12, 2023, Part B News
Tap, Tap: See Better Patient Results, and Provider Scores, with SMS Outreach
Sue Boisvert, BSN, MHSA, DFASHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company, provides commentary on how patient text messaging is increasing in use for certain healthcare settings.

Jan 04, 2023
Effective Patient Communication: Strategies for Challenging Situations
Poor communication often results in poor treatment outcomes and patient dissatisfaction. Our patient safety and risk management guide provides expert strategies and guidance that can help you improve communication with patients and families.

Dec 15, 2022
The Clinician Voice Post-Roe: Speaking Up for Standards of Care
The spillover effects of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, mean that many clinicians face uncertainty regarding which treatment practices are still legal in their state. Accordingly, they may be unsure how to communicate with patients, or uncertain regarding their role in their institution’s planning conversations.

Dec 12, 2022
Top Seven Tips for Telehealth
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group; Senior Vice President, Healthcare Risk Advisors
Although telehealth demand has declined since the peak of the pandemic, it continues to be an integral part of healthcare delivery. These top recommendations can help minimize risks for practices that provide care via telemedicine.

Dec 01, 2022
Building a Culture of Safety in Healthcare, Part Two: Teamwork
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group; Senior Vice President, Healthcare Risk Advisors
Teamwork and communication are essential components of patient safety. In the second installment of his four-part series on safety culture, Chief Medical Officer David L. Feldman, MD, identifies best practices in communication to facilitate teamwork.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Aug 30, 2022
Telephone Triage and Medical Advice Protocols
Debra Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, and Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Telephone triage requires an accurate assessment of the patient’s concerns without the benefit of a face-to-face visit.

Aug 04, 2022
Miscommunication and Hurried Handoffs Threaten Patient Safety
Julie Brightwell, JD, RN, Director, Healthcare System Patient Safety, The Doctors Company
Miscommunication and missed opportunities resulting from hurried handoffs can produce fatal results.

Jul 21, 2022
Effective Obstetrical Team Communication
Pamela Willis, JD, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
Effective communication requires a team effort for the exchange of concise and relevant information.

Jun 16, 2022
Patient Billing Challenges: Frequently Asked Questions
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Our experts answer common billing questions and provide strategies to help your practice address issues proactively.

Mar 31, 2022
Long COVID—What Physicians Should Know
Healthcare providers should remain aware of the biggest risks associated with long COVID, what factors can lead to malpractice suits, and how to reduce risk.

Mar 01, 2022
With Medical Implants, Hope and Plan for the Best, but Talk About the Worst
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group; Senior Vice President, Healthcare Risk Advisors
Even with common implant procedures, variability among human systems creates risks and uncertainties. Dr. David L. Feldman discusses the importance of a true informed consent process using shared decision making.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Feb 03, 2022
Informed Refusal
Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Documenting a patient’s refusal of test or treatment options is key to minimizing risk exposure.

Feb 02, 2022
Informed Consent: Substance and Signature
Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, Assistant Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
True informed consent is a process of managing a patient’s expectations. Every healthcare provider should develop an individual style and system, making it easier to avoid omissions and ensure consistency of application.

Jan 27, 2022
As Corporate Entities Enter Healthcare, Practices Can Respond via Patient-Centered Care
Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group
Corporate entities have always been involved in healthcare, but now mega corporations—from outside the medical space—are entering the field. The involvement of these large non-legacy corporate entities in healthcare is growing and is challenging—and while this trend brings some benefits, it will also impact how all clinicians provide healthcare.

Jan 05, 2022
Communicating with COVID-19 Vaccine-Hesitant Patients: Top Tips
Debra Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company, Part of TDC Group
As the number of Delta and Omicron variant cases increases alarmingly across the United States, more individuals are considering vaccination against COVID. It is important for physicians to be prepared to answer questions from patients about the various vaccines—particularly since some patients remain hesitant about receiving the vaccination.

Dec 15, 2021
Telephone Communication for Healthcare Providers: Safety Strategies
Nicole Franklin, MS, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II, The Doctors Company
When casually or carelessly conducted, telephone communications can lead to diagnostic errors and misunderstandings that can culminate in professional malpractice claims

Professional Education
Alzheimer's 4: Addressing Patients' and Families' Needs through the Disease Stages of Dementia
This activity includes seven video lectures and is the fourth in a series of four courses that seek to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This fourth course covers life planning through disease stages, assessing and assisting caregivers, improving communications, utilizing community resources, and end of life decision-making. These sensitive conversations with patients. The course finishes with a focus on dementia resources, effective communication strategies, and understanding when it is time to make a referral to a specialist.
1.8 credits

Professional Education
Alzheimer's 2: Evaluation and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
This activity includes eight video lectures and is the second in a series of four courses that seek to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. This second course introduces the Alzheimer’s project evaluation algorithm and evaluation instruments and focuses on differential diagnoses. Finally, the course discusses how to prepare and engage in a sensitive dementia diagnosis disclosure with patients and caregivers.
1.5 credits

Sep 08, 2021
Terminating Patient Relationships
Julie Brightwell, JD, RN, Director, Healthcare Systems Patient Safety, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
If it becomes necessary to end a patient relationship that is no longer therapeutic or appropriate based on patient behaviors, it is critical to end the relationship in a manner that will not lead to claims of discrimination or abandonment.

Professional Education
Patient Relations: Spotlight on Challenging Situations
The Doctors Company’s dedicated patient safety risk managers deliver a wide range of expert services and resources to our members—including personal telephone consultations to help guide members through challenging situations. A recent review of our call data shows that “patient relations” and “patient termination” consistently appear as the top reasons that members request assistance. The following strategies can help prevent challenging patient situations and provide guidance if one occurs.
0.5 credit

Aug 30, 2021
Patient Relations: Anticipate and Address Challenging Situations
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
A review of call data revealed that patient relations and patient terminations are the top reasons that members request help from our patient safety risk managers.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Aug 04, 2021
Cognitive Assessments in Primary Care: Preparation and Tools May Mitigate Diagnosis Risks
Carol Murray, RHIA, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company, Part of TDC Group
Recent reimbursement changes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allow primary care providers to meet their patients’ mental health needs and help build their practices by performing cognitive assessments.

Jul 14, 2021
12 Strategies for Success With Open Notes in Healthcare: The Cures Act
Chad Anguilm, MBA; Richard F. Cahill, JD; and Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN
On April 5, 2021, the 21st Century Cures Act prohibition on information blocking, also known as the requirement for open notes, went into effect. All providers who use electronic health records (EHRs) must comply, and patients must be able to access information in their EHRs “without delay.”

Jul 14, 2021
Open Notes in Healthcare: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Cures Act
Chad Anguilm, MBA; Richard F. Cahill, JD; and Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN
Patient access to records is not new, and neither is the Cures Act, which dates to 2016. What is new is the requirement that patients have electronic records access that is fast and easy. This requirement is expected to result in more patients—still a small proportion overall, but more patients—accessing additional EHR information, including providers’ notes.

Jul 14, 2021
Open Notes: Healthcare Providers Should Prepare Now for 2023 and the Cures Act
Chad Anguilm, MBA; Richard F. Cahill, JD; and Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN
The 21st Century Cures Act is a multiphase, multidomain piece of legislation whose requirements for healthcare providers are in effect now, and increase over time. Between pushing for electronic health record (EHR) interoperability and funding vast, ambitious research and data-collection initiatives, the act attempts to harness our collective data-gathering power for medical good.

Jul 14, 2021
What Open Notes Exceptions Does the Cures Act Allow?
Chad Anguilm, MBA; Richard F. Cahill, JD; and Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN
As of April 5, 2021, patients must be able to access information in their electronic health records (EHRs) “without delay.” Unless an exception applies, clinical notes must not be blocked. But what exceptions to open notes does the Cures Act allow—or in some cases, require?

Jun 17, 2021
Deferred, Delayed, Disrupted: Mitigating Risks from Care During COVID-19
Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group
The pandemic has disrupted healthcare so thoroughly that in some sense, COVID-19 has affected all of healthcare. The effect on care has been stunning in magnitude. By mid-2020, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults had delayed medical care or avoided it entirely, including care for urgent and emergent complaints.

Jun 09, 2021
Prevent, Communicate, Document: Medical Malpractice Data Help Us Manage Risk
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company, and for the TDC Group of Companies
Medical malpractice data provide a rich source of information, offering insights into high-risk specialties, medical conditions, and procedures that result in claims.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Apr 15, 2021
Best Practices in Patient-Centered Care and Shared Decision Making
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, The Doctors Company
Using a patient-centered approach with shared decision making benefits patients by incorporating their needs and priorities into the treatment plan.

Mar 03, 2021
Universal Masking Calls for More Structured Communication in Healthcare
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company, and for the TDC Group of Companies
COVID-19 calls for the adoption of structured communication systems across the board. Chief Medical Officer Dr. David L. Feldman highlights steps individuals and institutions can take today.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Mar 03, 2021
Flexibility and Communication Save Lives in NYC: Incorporating Lessons Learned Through Waves of COVID-19
Andrew D. Racine, MD, PhD, Systems Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Montefiore Health System, and Executive Director of the Montefiore Medical Group
Guest author Dr. Andrew Racine shares valuable insights gleaned from treating patients during the first surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Dec 07, 2020
Convincing Patients Not to Delay Necessary In-Person Care During COVID-19: Top 5 Tips
Chad Anguilm, MBA, Vice President, In-Practice Technology Services, Medical Advantage, Part of the TDC Group of Companies
As patients’ fears intensify with the current surge in COVID-19 cases, many practices are presented with a three-fold problem: Patients not getting the care they need, a decline in revenue from in-person appointments, and potential liability risks presented by patients who experience adverse events because of a delayed diagnosis—the number one cause of medical malpractice suits.

Nov 04, 2020
Smartphones, Texts, and HIPAA: Strategies to Protect Patient Privacy
Kim Hathaway, MSN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Healthcare Quality and Risk Management Consultant, The Doctors Company
The very convenience that makes using smartphone technologies so inviting may also create privacy and security violations.

Dec 20, 2019
Burnout Can Affect How Patients Communicate
By Robert D. Morton, BA, ARM, CPHRM, CPPS, Assistant Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
If a physician appears burned out, patients may avoid asking questions for fear of adding to the stress.

May 24, 2018
Physician Learning Must Evolve to Keep Healthcare Workforce Prepared
Eric Barna, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine/Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital
Funded by a grant from The Doctors Company Foundation, Mt. Sinai is the first hospital in New York that has established a program designed specifically to assess and address some of the unique communication challenges facing hospitalists to improve patient care.

Feb 18, 2017
Up for Review: Five Keys to Managing Online Criticism
Kevin Pho, MD, Founder and Editor, KevinMD.com
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.

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