General Surgery

Feb 21, 2024
Identifying Malpractice Risks for Surgical Practices
Julie Brightwell, JD, RN, Director, Healthcare Systems Patient Safety, The Doctors Company, Part of TDC Group
Understanding that the causes of claims are multifactorial and rarely result from individual judgment or technical skill alone can help surgeons improve outcomes.

Jan 03, 2024
Healthcare Practitioners and On-Call Duties: Top Questions on Liability Risks
Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Our experts respond to questions about medical staff bylaws and on-call service requirements.

Professional Education
Shoulder Dystocia Physician-Patient Disclosure
This enduring activity is designed to assist physicians and advanced practice clinicians (APCs) in enhancing their communication skills when disclosing a shoulder dystocia injury to patients and family members. This type of injury to the infant may, unfortunately, occur despite the best of care; however, effective physician-patient communication is an integral part of clinical practice and has been shown to positively influence outcomes by increasing patient understanding and trust.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
Errors in Anticoagulation Management in the Dermatology Office (Claims Corner CME)
In reviewing closed malpractice claims, The Doctors Company has found an increased risk of claims in patients taking direct acting oral anticoagulants that undergo office-based dermatologic procedures. This case study highlights the factors contributing to the improper management of these patients, including errors in clinical judgment, anticoagulant management, and communication.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
Anesthesia Care: Preventing Dental Injury
Dental injury claims continue to make up almost a quarter of all anesthesiology claims (22 percent) with over 30 percent of tooth damage claims resulting in indemnity payments to the plaintiff. Due to the frequent occurrence of dental injury claims, anesthesia professionals must be aware of dental injury causes, preventive measures, and steps to take if injury occurs.
0.8 credit

Professional Education
Post-Surgical Management of Antiphospholipid Syndrome Leads to Adverse Outcome (Claims Corner CME)
Clinical judgement involves a clinician’s utilization of objective and subjective information to arrive at treatment decisions. The way providers process or interpret information, or cognitive bias, can also impact clinical judgment. This program presents a case study that reveals multiple factors which contributed to the patient’s adverse outcome or injury. After reviewing the case details, we will highlight three of those contributing factors that influenced the case.
0.5 credit

Oct 24, 2022
Why Medical Clearance Is Really a Preoperative Evaluation
Debra Davidson, MJ, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company, and David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group; Senior Vice President, Healthcare Risk Advisors
The goals of the preoperative evaluation are to determine the patient's level of risk and to identify opportunities to mitigate it.

Oct 18, 2022
Moderate or Conscious Sedation in the Office Setting
Julie Brightwell, JD, RN, Director, Healthcare System Patient Safety, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
Prevent patient injury when providing moderate sedation in the office by incorporating these patient safety and practice improvement strategies.

Oct 04, 2022
Mapping the Perioperative Claims Experience of General Surgeons
Jacqueline Ross, RN, PhD; Kim Hathaway, RN, MSN; Melissa Nelson, RN, BSN; Kathrine Soulsby, RN, BSN; Angela Jordan, RN, MHSc
About 63 percent of general surgeons have been involved in a medical malpractice suit. Understanding the most common types of complications and the factors that contribute to errors may provide insights for general surgeons about their practice.

Jun 17, 2022
As Telemedicine Best Practices Emerge, Assess Your Practice
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group; Senior Vice President, Healthcare Risk Advisors
Healthcare leaders have discovered that remote care reveals some unexpected advantages.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Oct 20, 2021
Diagnostic Error in General Surgery: Cognitive Bias and Systems Issues in Medical Malpractice Claims (Abstract)
Jacqueline Ross, RN, PhD, Coding Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
Although claims against general surgeons primarily allege technical surgical-type errors, diagnostic error is the second most frequent allegation against or case type for general surgeons. Analysis of malpractice claims can elucidate the causes of and solutions to diagnostic errors. This study considers differences between diagnostic errors, both cognitive and systemic, committed by general surgeons in the inpatient vs. the outpatient setting.

Sep 29, 2021
Getting Sued for Breast Cancer Malpractice
Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Doctors Company and TDC Group
Our closed claims data reveal that suits involving breast cancer are the most common type of cancer-related claim. This article lists the issues that most often lead to claims.

Professional Education
Pathologists and Surgeons Can Collaborate to Reduce Diagnostic Error
The Doctors Company has updated the claims filed against pathologists between the years 2015 and 2020. The information provides quantitative and qualitative data that a pathologist and surgeon would find meaningful in reducing diagnostic error. This program provides a breakdown of where patient injuries occur involving pathologists and surgeons and how collaboration between the two disciplines can improve patient outcomes.
1.0 credit

Jan 26, 2021
Laparoscopic Lysis of Adhesions Leads to Missed Bowel Perforation: Case Study
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Consultant to The Doctors Company
Experts opine on the case of a patient who suffered a bowel injury during laparoscopic surgery. The discussion includes strategies for recognizing patients who might be at increased risk.

Aug 25, 2020
Distracting Devices in Healthcare: Malpractice Implications
Shelley Rizzo, MSN, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
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.

Jun 15, 2020
Safely Caring for the Hospitalized Patient with Obesity
Paul Nagle, ARM, CPHRM, Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, and Shelley Rizzo, MSN, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
Obesity is viewed as a chronic health condition, and patients with obesity pose patient safety issues.

Aug 27, 2019
Electronic Health Records Continue to Lead to Medical Malpractice Suits
Darrell Ranum, JD, Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management
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.

Mar 20, 2019
Study of Malpractice Claims Involving Children
Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM, Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management
The Doctors Company analyzed 1,215 claims filed on behalf of pediatric patients that closed from 2008 through 2017. The study is based on the claims filed against physicians in 52 specialties and subspecialties and includes an overview of the most common types of claims, expert insights into the specific elements that led to patient injury, and risk mitigation strategies.

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