Litigation


Professional Education
Psychiatry: Preventing Adverse Outcomes
The Doctors Company study of closed claims reveals areas of higher risk in outpatient psychiatry practices. Using this as a foundation, the course provides information to evaluate your practice and make changes to improve decisions about treatment, operational processes, reporting, and documentation.
1.5 Credits

Feb 08, 2019
What Every Doctor Should Know About Getting Sued
Malpractice claims have become an inevitable part of the practice of medicine, and it’s important that doctors know what to expect when they are sued—and how to navigate the legal process to ensure success. This guide outlines the litigation process, provides tips on alleviating the stress of a lawsuit and building an effective testimony, and includes case studies of successful defenses.

Nov 28, 2018
Plastic Surgery Closed Claims Study
We analyzed 1,438 malpractice claims against plastic surgeons to understand what motivates patients to pursue claims and gain a broader overview of the system failures and processes that result in patient harm.

Video Sep 27, 2018
Future of Healthcare: Physicians Won't Recommend Their Profession
The Future of Healthcare Survey of over 3,400 doctors shows physicians are disenchanted with practicing medicine, largely because of technologies and payment models they say are interfering with the doctor-patient relationship and their ability to provide quality care. Despite continuing volatility in the industry and resulting dissatisfaction, one of the predominant themes captured in this survey is the concern physicians share for their patients and the quality of the care they receive.

Jun 22, 2018
Sexual Harassment Allegations in Healthcare: Rising Risks
Richard Cahill, JD, vice president and associate general counsel
Healthcare providers are not immune from the growing number of reported incidents of alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. This article provides tips on how to protect physician practices from sexual harassment lawsuits.

Apr 25, 2018
A Complication Involving Laparoscopic Lysis of Adhesions
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
A medical malpractice case about laparoscopic lysis of adhesions involved negligent performance of surgery and mismanagement of postoperative care.

Apr 24, 2018
Missed Diagnosis of Spinal Epidural Abscess
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
This case illustrates the importance of promptly diagnosing and treating spinal epidural abscess.

Mar 09, 2018
Nurse Practitioner Closed Claims Study: Top Risks in the Changing Delivery of Primary Care
Our study of nurse practitioner medical malpractice claims, compared against family medicine and internal medicine claims, identifies the top patient safety risks that may lead to adverse events.

Jan 24, 2018
You’ve Been Served: Lawsuit Survival Tips for Physicians
Douglas McCullough, Esq., Assistant Vice President, Claims
Although it’s a reality that the majority of physicians will face a medical malpractice claim in, few are prepared when served with a lawsuit.

Professional Education
Understanding Malpractice Claims and Legal Proceedings
This activity is an introduction to the four essential elements necessary for filing a malpractice claim. It reviews common allegations, defines steps in the legal process, explains legal terms, and discusses the process of arbitration.
1.0 Credit

Professional Education
Medical Board Investigations: What You Need To Know (Texas Practices)
This activity reviews the most common administrative actions brought by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) against physicians. Often, physicians lack understanding of the insurance coverage and adjudication processes for these matters. This activity details the process when responding to TMB actions.
1.25 Credits

Professional Education
How To Reduce Liability For Advanced Practice Providers
An analysis of The Doctors Company's closed claims data identified ways to improve patient safety when nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other mid-level healthcare professionals provide care. The activity is useful for physicians practicing in states that mandate oversight responsibility of these healthcare professionals.
0.75 Credit

Oct 16, 2017
Electronic Health Record Closed Claims Study: Navigating the Rising Risks of EHRs
The number of malpractice closed claims in which EHRs were a contributing factor has increased continuously over the past 10 years. While EHRs have brought many positives, they have also created new risks and frustrations for doctors and patients.

Aug 28, 2017
Obstetrical Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
Robin Diamond, JD, RN, Senior Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
These lessons learned from our analysis of closed obstetrical claims are part of our CME article series.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Jul 24, 2017
Plastic Surgeons Make Changes in Light of Malpractice Claims Study
David. B. Troxel, MD, medical director, The Doctors Company
An analysis of plastic surgery malpractice claims is leading plastic surgeons to adopt policies and procedures that help them focus on caring for patients instead of defending their practices in court.

Dec 14, 2016
Plastic Surgery Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
Our analysis of closed plastic surgery claims identifies top allegations and the most common factors that contribute to patient injury.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Sep 23, 2016
The Perils of Printing an Electronic Health Record
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
A design flaw in an electronic health record system led to a malpractice claim against our insured cardiologist.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Sep 23, 2016
Should You Offer Your Services as a Paid Medical Expert?
Susan Shepard, MSN, CPHRM, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company.
The decision to function as a paid medical expert should not be entered into lightly.

Aug 22, 2016
Did Provider Fatigue Contribute to This Patient’s Death?
Provider fatigue and the rush to get things done when staffing levels are inadequate can lead to mistakes and poor outcomes for patients.

Apr 11, 2016
Malpractice Claims Consume Years of a Physician’s Career
On average, each physician spends 50.7 months, or approximately 11 percent of an average 40-year career, on resolving medical malpractice cases, the majority of which end up with no indemnity payment.

Video Mar 21, 2016
What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Wuest's Perspective
Thomas K. Wuest, MD, MMM, an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Eugene, Oregon, describes his experience defending himself against a medical malpractice suit involving a man who fell over 20 feet from a utility pole and sustained multiple injuries.

Oct 19, 2015
Overcoming the Stress of Malpractice Litigation: Solutions to Help Physicians Stay Healthy and Engaged
A malpractice lawsuit will generate an array of negative emotions, from self-doubt to high levels of stress and anxiety. But there are steps doctors can take to ease the strain.

Oct 01, 2015
The Defensible Medical Record
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus, Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
Most errors of medical judgment can be successfully defended with a complete and unaltered medical record.

Video Aug 05, 2015
What to Expect from Litigation: Dr. Nye's Perspective
Dr. Elizabeth R. Nye, an obstetrician and gynecologist in Chicago, describes how she defended herself against a medical malpractice lawsuit involving a complicated delivery that led to the death of the infant. Dr. Nye recounts the emotional impact of the lawsuit.

Jun 09, 2015
A Claim Involving Childhood Vaccination
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
Dr. David Troxel discusses a tragic event resulting from a failure to track a child’s immunizations.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Apr 13, 2015
Emergency Medicine: Tips to Help Prevent the Top Cause of Patient Injury
The Doctors Company’s Emergency Medicine Closed Claims Study revealed that the top patient allegation was diagnosis related. These tips can help emergency medicine doctors avoid diagnostic errors.

Apr 06, 2015
Accurate Medical Records: Your Primary Line of Defense
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus; Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel; and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
It is critical for every physician to maintain meticulous records, because every medical malpractice suit can be won or lost based on the quality and content of the medical record.

Mar 14, 2015
Analyzing Bowel Perforation Claims
Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM, Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management
Darrell Ranum outlines findings from a recent analysis of bowel perforation claims. Author: Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Feb 01, 2015
Coping with Depositions
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
A physician's attitude, demeanor, appearance, and conduct during a deposition or trial are as important as the accuracy and quality of the testimony.

Mar 01, 2014
Globalization and Counterfeit Drugs
Thomas T. Kubic, Treasurer, Partnership for Safe Medicines, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education, The Doctors Company
Protect yourself and your patients from the consequences of receiving or distributing non-FDA-approved drug products.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Oct 29, 2013
Malpractice Case Shows Risk from Physician Not Dating and Initialing Reports
Physicians must be certain that there is a process in place to ensure that no imaging, laboratory, or consultant's report is ever filed unless it has been dated and initialed by the physician as proof that it was reviewed.

Apr 23, 2013
Be Prepared When Testifying in a Malpractice Lawsuit
Preparation is key for doctors to give effective testimony in a medical malpractice lawsuit, because the courtroom differs from the exam room or the surgical suite.

Feb 03, 2013
Notification of an Incident or a Claim
Notify The Doctors Company immediately if any incident occurs that may lead to action against you.

Apr 16, 2012
Sinus Surgery: Key Lessons in Malpractice Risk
David W. Roberson, MD, Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Children’s Hospital Boston.
An analysis of closed otolaryngology claims identified risk management issues such as possible technical problems and inadequate informed consent.

Jul 01, 2011
Eight Little Words
Ann S. Lofsky, MD (1956–2008), Governor Emeritus
No wording will be more carefully scrutinized than that in a medical record involved in a malpractice trial.

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