Patient Relationships

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.

Jan 05, 2024
Patient Experience Surveys
Use our patient experience surveys to measure satisfaction and uncover areas of concern in your practice.

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 11, 2023, Part B News
Thwart Abuse: Consider Opt-out,Training in Chaperone Policy
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, provides policy suggestions for healthcare providers to implement that can help defend against sexual harassment allegations.

Dec 07, 2023
ADA Accessibility for Healthcare Websites: How Practices Can Avoid Suits and Attract Patients
Chad Anguilm, MBA, Vice President, In-Practice Technology Services, Medical Advantage, Part of TDC Group
Healthcare practices and organizations may be sued by web users who allege that there are site-use access barriers for those with disabilities and impairments that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and various state laws. Those caught up in these lawsuits can pay millions of dollars and be bound by the settlement to make specific changes to their websites.

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 15, 2023
Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: What Healthcare Practitioners Need to Know
Julie Brightwell, JD, RN, Director, Healthcare Systems Patient Safety, The Doctors Company
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S. Early diagnosis provides important benefits to diagnosed individuals and their loved ones, caregivers, and society.

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.

Nov 01, 2023, Healthcare Risk Management
How to Identify and Defend Against Malicious Lawsuits
Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, discusses common concerns healthcare professionals have when it comes to disgruntled patients and malicious lawsuits.

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.

Professional Education
Patient Termination
This brief audio presentation will give healthcare providers information on how to mitigate their risk when terminating a patient relationship. The key topics covered include establishing patient expectations, what to do when expectations aren’t being met, special circumstances to consider prior to termination, and finally, the elements of the termination notice.
0.5 credit

Sep 01, 2023
Thinking About How We Think: How Implicit Bias Creeps Into Diagnosis
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS
David Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, investigates how implicit biases can contribute to malpractice claims and offers strategies to improve diagnostic safety, mitigate risks, and combat healthcare disparities.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Sep 01, 2023, Part B News
Head Off Problem Patients With Signed Agreements, Legal Review: Expert
Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, discusses the rights and responsibilities of practice managers who wish to remove or stop admitting troublesome patients.

Aug 02, 2023
Noncompliant Patients Increase Liability Risks for Practitioners
Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
Practitioners face potential liability when patients do not follow up as instructed or refuse at-home help.

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.

Jun 12, 2023, Part B News
As Gun Laws Loosen, Prepare for Possibly Armed Patients
As gun laws grow more permissive across the country, clinicians should be aware of the possibility that patients may attend medical appointments armed. Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company, part of TDC Group, provides guidance how to prepare for untoward events.

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 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 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 22, 2023
Remote Patient Monitoring: Considerations for Telehealth Care
Sue Boisvert, BSN, MHSA, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
Remote patient monitoring is advancing the safety and accuracy of telehealth by filling in some gaps and increasing the types of care that can safely be provided in the home.

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.

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.

Sep 14, 2022
Recording Office Visits and Procedures: Pros and Cons for Healthcare Professionals
Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company
As smartphones have become ubiquitous—giving patients a video and audio recorder that’s always at hand—the question of whether or not these devices should be allowed in the clinic or hospital setting is becoming increasingly more common. The issue of allowing patients to record their appointments requires balancing potential privacy and liability risks with the potential benefits of improved patient recollection of instructions and treatment adherence.

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.

Professional Education
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Healthcare
Diversity, equity, and inclusion of all patients can lead to better health outcomes in the community in which we work. Creating a culture of inclusion and understanding our own biases, will help us improve patient care. It is important to understand how we are the same and how we are different in language, education, race, ethnicity, gender, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability, religion, political beliefs, and morals. Ensuring equity creates fair and just opportunities to receive and benefit from healthcare. In addition, deliberately including all peoples creates a welcoming and respectful environment for our patients. Providers may not be aware of how diversity, equity, and inclusion problems can hinder their care and relationships with patients. Some states are requiring all clinical professionals to have continuing education on cultural and linguistic competency and implicit bias.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
The Advanced Practice Clinician–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 an advanced practice clinician (APC)–patient relationship, as well as the concerns which may result in the need for the APC to consider terminating the APC-patient relationship. Additionally, the concepts of providing patient-centered care will be presented for the learner’s consideration.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
An Introduction to Enhancing Patient Relations and Reducing Risks for Advanced Practice Clinicians
This enduring program is designed to assist advanced practice clinicians (APCs) 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.
1.5 credits

Professional Education
When Personal Relationships Interfere with the Standard of Care for Advanced Practice Clinicians
The Doctors Company rigorously analyzed 988 claims* against internal medicine physicians that closed from 2009–2018. Regardless of the outcome, all cases that closed from 2009–2018 were included in this analysis—an approach that helps better understand what motivates patients to pursue claims and gain a broader overview of the system failures and processes that result in patient harm.
0.5 credit

Apr 01, 2022
Delay in Diagnosing Breast Cancer: A Case Summary and Tips to Reduce Risk
Lisa M. McCorkle, MSN, MBA, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
A delay in diagnosing breast cancer may result when a patient doesn’t follow through with diagnostic recommendations.

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 1: Screening for Dementia Among Adults with Cognitive Decline
This activity includes eight video lectures and is the first 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 first course focuses on introducing the Alzheimer’s Project and highlighting the increasingly important role of primary care providers in dementia care. This course also introduces the Alzheimer’s Project cognitive impairment screening algorithm and screening instruments and covers addressing reversible conditions that may present similar symptoms to cognitive impairment.
1.2 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.

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.

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.

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 12, 2021
Avoid Risks When Treating Stressed Patients During COVID-19
Carol Murray, RHIA, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company, and Jennifer Perla, RN, LPC-S, Care Manager, Medical Advantage Group
While most resources are directed at screening for COVID-19 and treating affected patients, there is another important aspect of the pandemic: the impact on your patients’ mental health. Fear and uncertainty are driving the dramatic increase in stress, anxiety, and depression.

Jan 20, 2021
Implicit Bias Against Obesity: An Opportunity to Improve Patient Safety
Jacqueline Ross, PhD, Coding Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Many patients with obesity delay seeking medical care because of previous negative experiences with healthcare providers.

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.

Video Jun 25, 2020
How Can AI Improve Doctor-Patient Relationships?
Artificial intelligence (AI) provides many opportunities for improving doctor-patient relationships, including helping prevent physician burnout, increasing accuracy of diagnoses, and allowing more time for doctors to talk to their patients, according to Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of The Scripps Research Translational Institute and author of Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.”

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.

Video Jul 27, 2018
Addiction Indicators: Distracting Devices and Patient-Centered Care
The health environment has been invaded by not only medical technology, but by individuals who become too connected to their own devices. Steven Weintraub, MD, interviews Peter J. Papadakos, MD, FCCM, FAARC, about the potential for a physician to be perceived as addicted to a personal electronic device.

Video Jul 27, 2018
Malpractice Repercussions: Distracting Devices and Patient-Centered Care
The health environment has been invaded by not only medical technology, but by individuals who become too connected to their own devices. Steven Weintraub, MD, interviews Peter J. Papadakos, MD, FCCM, FAARC, about distracting devices in the context of patient-centered care and the malpractice repercussions that occur when practitioners appear to be distracted.

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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