Sep 08, 2021
Terminating Patient Relationships
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.
Sep 07, 2021
Interstate Licensure for Telehealth Can Fuel Practice Growth
Licensing restrictions have been eased to facilitate care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new normal of greater state-to-state cooperation for access to care may persist after the pandemic. Understanding the many restrictions that still apply, however, can help you reduce risk.
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.
Aug 30, 2021
Telehealth: Frequently Asked Questions
As the evolution of telehealth continues, we address questions asked by medical and dental practices.
Aug 05, 2021
Top Seven Tips for Telehealth
Now that practitioners and patients are more comfortable with and able to resume in-person visits, virtual visits have declined—although not to the same level as prior to the pandemic. Many believe there will continue to be a desire on the part of patients and practitioners to use telemedicine for healthcare delivery going forward.
Jul 21, 2021
Medical and Dental Record Retention
Having access to well-maintained patient records helps medical and dental professionals ensure continuity of care. It can also protect them against any future professional liability claims, licensing board complaints, and peer review inquiries.
Jul 16, 2021
Medical and Dental Record Issues: Frequently Asked Questions
We answer questions frequently asked by members about medical and dental records, such as length of retention, how to destroy hard copy paper records, and creating backups of electronic health records.
Jul 09, 2021
Requests to Amend a Medical or Dental Record
Patients have the right to request amendments to their medical or dental records, but providers have the right to determine if the changes will be made. Following the guidelines presented here can help ensure clear communication and documentation.
Jun 29, 2021
Pediatrics: Consider Car Window Hammers for Your Office Emergency Response Kit
Seconds count if an infant, toddler, or young child is accidentally locked inside a hot vehicle. A car window hammer can be a lifesaving tool to include in an emergency response cart or kit.
Risky Practices: Hidden Liabilities Identified by Medical Office Assessments
Office practice assessments by The Doctors Company's patient safety risk managers uncover hidden liability risks, often exposing areas where patients can "fall through the cracks" and leave the practice vulnerable to a malpractice claim. Our Practice Risk INSIGHT, an assessment tool customized by specialty, zeros in on problematic areas. The assessments have been completed across a range of practice environments around the country—from small offices to practices that are part of large integrated delivery systems. In this course, we analyze the results of the Practice Risk INSIGHT assessments, highlight problem-prone areas and offer strategies to minimize liability.
Jun 14, 2021
Should You Offer Your Services as a Paid Medical or Dental Expert?
Consider these key questions before deciding to accept the role of paid expert witness. Functioning as an expert witness is not a role to be entered into lightly.
Telehealth: Review Your Service Components
Many practices implemented telehealth overnight in response to pandemic restrictions on elective care. Practices already using telehealth saw huge increases in volume. This program presents a roadmap for practices to evaluate their telehealth implementation using the best practice tips identified herein and their own lessons learned.
May 25, 2021
Reduce the Risk of Wrong-Tooth Dental Procedures
Wrong-site procedures are a common problem in dentistry. A wrong tooth extraction can be prevented with the use of proper protocols, including confirmed communication with referring dentists and documentation of verbal discussions with patients.
Apr 02, 2021
Pre-Procedural Screening and Testing During COVID-19
Throughout the pandemic, surgeons have faced many challenges in adapting to new situations. Now that facilities have resumed elective surgeries, surgeons are facing additional challenges in evaluating and scheduling patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The strategies highlighted here can help ensure a consistent approach in keeping both patients and providers safe.
Mar 29, 2021
Is Your Patient a Victim of Human Trafficking?
Although trafficking victims rarely find opportunities to interact with others, a visit to a physician or dental practice may provide an opportunity for a victim to receive help. Learn to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know what steps to take.
Mar 24, 2021
Patient Selection for Elective Cosmetic Procedures
The patient selection process is a valuable tool that can help you reduce risks when you assess prospective patients for elective cosmetic procedures.
Feb 26, 2021
Resources for Elective Procedures During COVID-19
Your patients most likely want to know about the safety of surgery during the pandemic and what occurs if they contract COVID-19 post-procedure. You may have questions about keeping your staff and patients safe, informing patients about new risks the pandemic has created, and potential liability risks you may be facing.
Feb 23, 2021
Safe Handling of Medical Gas Cylinders
When incorrectly used, handled, or stored, medical gas cylinders can create dangerous physical and chemical hazards for patients and staff. This review of safety standards can help healthcare facilities and physician and dental offices stay in compliance.
TeamSTEPPS® Teamwork Training in the Office Practice
This course provides an overview of the evidence-based TeamSTEPPS® concepts, tools, and strategies based on the four areas of 1) leadership, 2) mutual support, 3) situation monitoring, and 4) communication. TeamSTEPPS training provides teachable/learnable skills that improve
communication and teamwork among healthcare professionals in both acute care and ambulatory care environments.
Feb 08, 2021
Patient Billing Challenges: Frequently Asked Questions
Our experts answer common billing questions and provide strategies to help your practice address issues proactively.
HIPAA for Managers: The High-Level View
The program explores and defines HIPAA policies and procedures, business associate agreements, security assessment and analysis, training requirements, HIPAA compliance requirements, breach events, and informed consent.
It's the Little Things: An Introduction to Enhancing Patient Relations and Reducing Risks
It's the Little Things is designed to assist medical practices with improvements in patient interactions by looking at how incorporating hospitality as a focus makes a difference. It has been developed to improve multiple facets of patient interaction.
Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing – Florida Edition
The Doctors Company recognizes the opioid epidemic in this country. This course provides insights into the risks of opioid usage, as shown by malpractice claims, and how to reduce those risks both for your patient and for your practice. Approved by the Florida Board of Medicine—Controlled Substance Prescribing.
Prevention of Medical Errors: CME Risk Management Course for Florida Practices
This activity is specific to Florida statutes and reflects regulations effective February 2020. Few medical errors are attributed to faulty medical judgment. More commonly, they are attributed to system failures inherent in healthcare delivery. By drawing on our professional liability closed claims data, we have identified common performance and diagnostic errors that reflect on the most common issues identified by Florida—wrong site surgery, surgery complications, cancer, Ob/Gyn related conditions, gastroenterology conditions, cardiology issues, neurological issues, and adverse drug events—that will serve as the focal point of this patient safety and risk management course.
Sep 22, 2020
Should Dentists in One Office Have One Malpractice Insurer?
One often-overlooked strategy for a group practice is having all dental professionals covered by the same malpractice insurer: With a group policy, a practice can keep up with changes, avoid damaging conflicts, maximize chances for desirable outcomes when claims arise—and even potentially realize a positive impact on premium.
Telemedicine to Telehealth: Trends and Emerging Risks
This course explores challenges and risks such as privacy and security, licensure, and technology concerns that might instigate a malpractice claim. The risks overlay the inherent challenge of replicating the interaction of a traditional, in-person encounter between a provider and a patient, without compromising the standard of care. It also provides resources for clinicians and practice managers to consider when making decisions about deploying telehealth services or to improve existing services.
Aug 25, 2020
Distracting Devices in Healthcare: Malpractice Implications
Digital distraction in healthcare is a threat to patient safety and physician well-being. Personal electronic devices can create a digital distraction so engaging that it consumes awareness, potentially preventing healthcare providers from focusing on the primary task at hand—caring for and interacting with patients.
Making an Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Healthcare Leaders
This activity is designed for healthcare professionals in leadership positions. It covers the principles of informed consent, crafting and disseminating an informed consent policy, and building systems to improve the informed consent process.
Making an Informed Consent an Informed Choice: Training for Healthcare Professionals
This activity, designed for doctors, nurses, and other providers, examines problems with the process of healthcare informed consent. It describes the principles of informed consent and highlights the benefits gained from a good informed consent process.
Jun 18, 2020
Moderate or Conscious Sedation in the Office Setting
Prevent patient injury when providing moderate sedation in the office by incorporating these patient safety and practice improvement strategies.
Jun 03, 2020
Job Shadowing: Observers and Volunteers in Medical and Dental Practices
Create guidelines to prevent practice risks, eliminate patient harm, and protect patient privacy.
May 28, 2020
Reopening Your Dental Practice During COVID-19
Dental offices across the nation are beginning to reopen as part of the federal government’s approach to reopening the economy. Because The Doctors Company is committed to supporting your practice and sharing important information during this unprecedented time, we researched guidelines and recommendations to provide resources for dentists and dental professionals around the country.
Physician-Patient Relationship: When Does it Begin and When Does it End?
This enduring program will assist the participant in understanding the principles which form the establishment of a physician-patient relationship, as well as the concerns which may result in the need for the physician to consider terminating the physician-patient relationship. Additionally, the concepts of providing patient centered care will be presented for the learner’s consideration.
May 23, 2020
Providing Dental Services in the Hospital Setting
Because of the infrequency of providing dental care in the hospital setting, many dentists are unfamiliar with hospital and medical staff requirements that apply to the providers who examine and treat inpatients.
May 02, 2020
Medical Emergencies in the Dental Setting
Preparedness is critical to ensure the safety of patients and prevent catastrophic outcomes.
May 01, 2020
Informed Consent for COVID-19 Risks: Frequently Asked Questions
To support our members and the entire medical profession during this unprecedented time, the following are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding informed consent for COVID-19 risks.
Apr 22, 2020
Minor Consent: Challenges for Pediatric Dentistry
Identifying legal guardianship and the rights of parents can reduce risk prior to treating a minor.
Apr 07, 2020
COVID-19 Dental Practice Safety Guidance
How dental offices can keep patients and staff safe during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and what to do in the event of a dental emergency.
Internal Medicine: When Personal Relationships Interfere with the Standard of Care
Physicians and dentists are often faced with the decision whether to treat friends and families without realizing the inherent risks in doing so. A review of one case will highlight some common circumstances and risks associated with the treatment of friends and family members.
Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing - Georgia Edition
This three-hour learning activity provides instruction on controlled substance prescribing guidelines, recognizing signs of abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management, as delineated in Georgia Rule 360-15-.01. It also provides tools and resources to assist in educating staff and informing patients.
Prescribing Opioids Safely
Faced with an opioid-related epidemic that continues to bring addiction and deaths, it is important to define the role of opioids for both acute and chronic pain management. This activity spotlights the epidemic and presents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, regulations, studies, and emerging solutions to address the epidemic and allow for effective and appropriate use of these drugs.
Safe and Effective Opioid Prescribing - Michigan Edition
This three-hour learning activity provides instruction on controlled substance prescribing guidelines, recognizing signs of abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and requirements delineated in Michigan’s law. It also provides tools and resources to assist in educating staff and informing patients.
Nov 05, 2019
When Treating Kids, Learn from the Emergency Department
To prevent communication gaps when treating kids, all specialties can benefit from lessons learned in the Emergency Department, where conversations are rushed, stakes are high, teams are assembled ad hoc, and physicians seldom have relationships with the patient.
Aug 27, 2019
Electronic Health Records Continue to Lead to Medical Malpractice Suits
We analyzed 216 medical malpractice claims that closed from 2010 to 2018 in which EHRs contributed to patient injury. The pace of these claims grew, from a low of seven cases in 2010 to an average of 22.5 cases per year in 2017 and 2018. As EHRs approach near-universal adoption, they may become a more prevalent source of patient safety risk.
Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery Informed Consent
Informed consent involves more than a patient signing a form. This activity explains how to enact an informed consent process based on best practices in dentistry and oral surgery.
Mar 23, 2018
Management of Treatment Complications
Even when a patient is provided with care that meets the standard of care, complications may arise during, or as a result of, the treatment provided.
Dec 19, 2017
Risks in Electronic Dental Records
System and user errors result in many EHR-related dental claims.
Nov 01, 2017
The Importance of Infection Control in the Community Dental Office
Develop appropriate policies and procedures to reduce potential infections and improve patient safety.
Aug 28, 2017
The Search for Mary Smith
A case study illustrating the importance of researching healthcare technologies thoroughly before implementing them.
The Doctor’s Advocate
Jun 27, 2017
Referral and Negligent Referral in a Dental Practice
General dentists should be aware of potential liability issues involving patient referrals.
Mar 16, 2017
San Diego Death Diaries
Dr. Roneet Lev provides insights into the prescription opioid abuse epidemic.
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.
The Doctor’s Advocate
Feb 18, 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 15, 2017
Withdrawing From the Dentist-Patient Relationship
Using appropriate guidelines can prevent a malpractice claim.
Oct 19, 2016
Case Study: Over-Sedation and Failure to Resuscitate
Prompt administration of reversal agents and respiratory support are critical for over-sedation emergencies.
Sep 15, 2016
Case Study: Poor Response to Patient Concerns Contributes to Dental Claim
Effective communication skills to satisfy the patient-provider relationship can increase positive outcomes.
Aug 09, 2016
Case Study: Unethical Treatment Leads to Lawsuit and Dental Board Action
A celebrity dentist performed excessive treatment and committed ethical violations.
Jun 27, 2016
Case Study: Inappropriate Delivery of Care and Delegation Lead to Patient Death
Adequate preparation for medical emergencies may prevent harm.
May 04, 2016
Case Study: Failure to Diagnose and Refer Results in Court and Dental Board Action
Legal and licensure penalties are incurred in a dental practice as a result of inadequate patient safety procedures.
Apr 18, 2016
Case Study: Documentation and Scope of Practice Issues
Obtaining written and verbal informed consent and patient response to follow-up care are crucial steps to improve patient safety and mitigate risk in your dental practice.
Mar 22, 2016
Case Study: Failure to Provide Medical Records
A request for medical records is not uncommon, and understanding the requirements of a request is essential to maintain sound patient relationships and prevent legal action.
Feb 29, 2016
Case Study: Process Failures Lead to Patient Harm
When choosing an alternative treatment plan that deviates from the prevailing standard of care, a dentist should thoroughly document the clinical justification in the dental record.