Patient Relationships

Professional Education
Clinical Presentations Cause Delays: Failure to Diagnose Myocardial Infarction
In reviewing closed malpractice claims, The Doctors Company identified missed or delayed diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) in the ambulatory internal medicine setting as a reoccurring problem. This course highlights the importance of recognizing the varying clinical presentations of MI and contributing factors associated with failure to diagnose and treat. Assumptions, lack of a thorough history and physical, communication failures, and failure to recognizing atypical signs and symptoms are highlighted in this case study.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
Delayed Diagnosis of Stroke
In reviewing closed malpractice claims, The Doctors Company identified diagnostic failure as a reoccurring problem and one of the top three leading allegations that result in malpractice claims. This failure often leads to a delay in treatment and causes significant harm to patients. The following highlights the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
Cervical Cancer Claims: A Review in Gynecology
Cervical cancer medical negligence claims are reviewed over a ten-year period to identify the major case types in which the gynecologist is the responsible party. The factors that contributed to those claims as identified by plaintiff and defense physician experts are discussed through case examples with learner questions. Risk mitigation strategies are identified to guide gynecologists in further providing the safest patient care and thereby improving their risk profile.
1.0 credit

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

Professional Education
Alzheimer's – 3 Addressing and Managing Behavioral and Environmental Symptoms of Dementia
This activity includes eight video lectures and is the third 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 third course focuses on using the DICE method to assess behavioral symptoms of dementia and create and evaluation treatment plans. This course also covers the careful use of medication during disease management as wells as common behavioral issues with dementia patients including tools for management of these behaviors.
1.3 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.
1.3 credits

Professional Education
Prevention of Dental Errors for Dental Practices
Few dental errors are attributed to faulty 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: wrong-site surgery, improper performance of dental procedure, wrong or unnecessary treatment or procedure, retention of foreign body during treatment, and diagnosis related. We analyzed loss prevention measures in tandem with the elements necessary to conduct a credible and thorough root cause analysis (RCA) to reduce system failures, respond to sentinel events, prevent dental errors, and improve patient safety. The purpose of this continuing dental education activity is to provide dentists with the most current information regarding the prevention of common performance and diagnostic errors. The course covers: • Identification of the most common quality-of-care violations. • Illustrative case studies detailing prevalent diagnostic and performance errors. • The necessary elements of an RCA. • Safety systems in healthcare organizations. • Risk management measures designed to prevent dental errors and increase patient safety.
2.0 credits

Professional Education
Prevention of Dental Errors for Florida Dental Practices
The purpose of this continuing dental education activity is to provide dentists with the most current information regarding the prevention of common performance and diagnostic errors. The course covers: • Identification of the most common quality-of-care violations. • Illustrative case studies detailing prevalent diagnostic and performance errors. • The necessary elements of an RCA. • Safety systems in healthcare organizations. • Risk management measures designed to prevent dental errors and increase patient safety. This course is specific to Florida statutes and reflects regulations effective in February 2018 for dentists licensed by the Florida Board of Dentistry.
2.0 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

Professional Education
Aducanumab for Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease – Controversy and Appropriate Communications
Panel discussion among neurologists and geriatric psychiatrists to clarify controversial issues surrounding the FDA’s recent approval of Aducanumab for treatment of Alzheimer's disease, and appropriate messaging to patients and family members. Following their presentations, the panel experts will conduct a question-and-answer session.
1.5 credits

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

Aug 16, 2021
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 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. A good strategy includes implementing a practice plan to educate patients and guide them to an informed decision about the vaccines available within their community.

Aug 16, 2021
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
More than 3,000 digital accessibility lawsuits were brought in 2020—a 23 percent increase over the prior year. Healthcare practices and organizations, like businesses in many other industries, 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.

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 27, 2021
Burnout from COVID-19: How Healthcare Professionals Can Manage Stress
Robert Morton, MAS, CPPS, Assistant Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company, and Jennifer Perla, RN, LPC-S, Medical Advantage, Part of TDC Group
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals have shown great courage by adapting to unprecedented conditions and laboring tirelessly to provide patient care. But these extreme circumstances have frequently led to burnout and even more serious consequences, such as suicide.

Professional Education
Patient Safety in Spine Surgery
Spine surgery requires a series of best practice patient safety interventions to reduce the frequency and severity of patient harm while giving the care team the resources to mitigate such harm. Evidence-based clinical methods, pathways, and tools coupled with an evolving culture of patient safety through effective communication, teams, and teamwork has shown to reduce patient harm exponentially. Patient and clinical team experiences are enhanced while ensuring a learning culture is built that approaches surgery from both a technical and nontechnical approach alike.
1.3 credits

Professional Education
The Need for Close Monitoring in Hyponatremia: Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome
In reviewing closed malpractice claims, The Doctors Company identified mismanagement of sodium levels during correction of severe hyponatremia as a serious problem that can result in catastrophic permanent neurological injury due to osmotic demyelination syndrome (also known as central pontine myelinolysis). This article highlights the importance of close monitoring of sodium levels during correction of severe hyponatremia, with a slow and controlled pace of sodium correction. Contributing factors discussed include clinical judgment with regard to rate of rise of sodium levels, patient monitoring, choice of practice setting, and communication between providers, especially at points of transition in care.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
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.
1.3 credits

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

Professional Education
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.
0.8 credit

Professional Education
Dictation Errors in the Emergency Department
The Doctors Company identified dictation errors as a significant patient safety risk factor. The following case highlights the importance of timely recognition of dictation errors to ensure accuracy of the permanent electronic health record (EHR). This is particularly important when using a voice recognition program to document encounters in the busy emergency department. In this case, the voice recognition system was Dragon Direct Voice Recognition Program.
0.5 credit

May 14, 2021
Managing Healthcare Practice Operations during COVID-19
Debbie Kane Hill, MBA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise and fall across all regions of the United States, practices must adapt and adjust their operations according to regional mandates, which can transition overnight with the shifting environment. For areas where there is a resurgence of the virus or as new strains of the virus emerge, you will need to be attentive to newly imposed restrictions. If disease transmission slows further, authorities may lift additional restrictions.

Professional Education
Breast Cancer Claims – A Review in Gynecology
Breast cancer medical negligence claims are reviewed over a ten-year period to identify the major case types in which the gynecologist is the responsible party. The factors that contributed to those claims as identified by plaintiff and defense physician experts are discussed through case examples with learner questions. Risk mitigation strategies are identified to guide gynecologists in further providing the safest patient care and thereby improving their risk profile.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
Pain Management - A Closed Claim Analysis Looking at Risks and Lessons Learned
For the first time, The Doctors Company has published an analysis of lawsuits and claims filed against pain management physicians. This study completed in 2020 provides quantitative and qualitative information that a physician who practices pain management, including interventional approaches to treatment would find useful in mitigating the risks of unintended outcomes or harms. This study breaks down where most patient injuries occur, what those injuries are, and the lessons learned from those claims.
1.3 credits

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.

Professional Education
A Deep Dive into Managing Orthopedic Risks (FORPG)
This course identifies the systems and processes that present risks for patient harm and have significant impact on patient outcomes in the orthopedic practice. The course draws from the results of the Orthopedic Office Practice Self-Assessments completed by The Doctors Company, members of the Florida Orthopedic Risk Purchasing Group, and from other orthopedic practices who are members of The Doctors Company.
1.0 credit

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.

Professional Education
Interventional Radiology: Analysis of Closed Malpractice Claims
Studying interventional radiology malpractice claims provides an understanding of drivers of lawsuits and patient injuries that result. By analyzing these claims and identifying the contributing factors involved, risk mitigation strategies can be developed and implemented reducing adverse patient outcomes and increasing patient safety.
0.8 credit

Mar 24, 2021
Patient Selection for Elective Cosmetic Procedures
James E. Vogel, MD, FACS, Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, The Doctors Company
The patient selection process is a valuable tool that can help you reduce risks when you assess prospective patients for elective cosmetic procedures.

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.

Feb 26, 2021
Resources for Elective Procedures During COVID-19
Kim Hathaway, MSN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Healthcare Quality and Risk Management Consultant, and Julie Ritzman, MBA, CPHRM, Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
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 12, 2021
Rx for Patient Safety: Use Ask Me 3 to Improve Patient Engagement and Communication
Leslie J. Castaneda, BSN, MSHA-HCQA, Patient Safety Healthcare Quality and Risk Management Consultant, The Doctors Company
Although patients commonly nod their heads and indicate they understand, communication issues pose challenges in many practices. Implementing the Ask Me 3 program can improve patient-provider communication.

Professional Education
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.
1.5 credits

Professional Education
Diagnostic Radiology: Analysis of Closed Malpractice Claims
Studying diagnostic radiology malpractice claims provides an understanding of drivers of lawsuits and patient injuries that result. By analyzing these claims and identifying the contributing factors involved in these, risk mitigation strategies can be developed and implemented reducing adverse patient outcomes and increasing patient safety.
0.8 credit

Feb 08, 2021
Patient Billing Challenges: Frequently Asked Questions
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety Education, and 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.

Professional Education
HIPAA Fundamentals: 2021 Edition
This on-demand program provides an orientation to the basic requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA gives patients many rights with respect to their health information.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
Diagnostic Radiology: A Failure to Diagnose
In reviewing closed malpractice claims, The Doctors Company identified delayed diagnosis of a malignancy as a reoccurring problem. The following highlights the importance of recognizing a spinal abnormality and recommending further follow up of a lesion seen on imaging. Contributing factors include misinterpretation of radiologic studies, narrow diagnostic focus, lack of communication and failure to establish a differential diagnosis.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
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.
1.0 credit

Dec 16, 2020
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 unintentional—can affect clinical outcomes. Our strategies can help you uncover and address compliance barriers.

Professional Education
Prevention of Diagnostic Error in Primary Care
Diagnostic errors occur often in primary care settings and can impact over 12 million outpatients annually. This is a top patient safety concern and a global burden. Significant patient harm can occur due to treatment delay, testing, or misdiagnosis. This course is an opportunity to promote awareness and visibility by identifying where these errors occur most often in the diagnostic process of care framework.
1.0 credit

Dec 14, 2020
How Medical Scribes Are Trained—And Used—Varies Widely
Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, Professor of Medicine, Vice Chair for Quality and Safety, Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University
Though it is the fastest growing medical field, there is little regulation or standardization for training medical scribes.

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.

Dec 02, 2020
Could COVID-19 Bring More Patient-Centered Care to Your Practice?
David L. Feldman, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer, The Doctors Company, and for the TDC Group of Companies
Our chief medical officer highlights how a patient-centered practice can yield positive outcomes.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Professional Education
Spotlight on Diagnosing PE/DVT
The overall incidence of venous thromboembolism (VTE) —including both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) —is one case per 1000 patient years. Accurate and timely diagnosis of VTE can be improved with the use of diagnostic guidelines such as Wells criteria and scoring for both DVT and PE.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
Lessons Learned – Plastic Surgery Closed Claims Study: An Expert Analysis of Medical Malpractice Allegations
This course is based on the findings of a study conducted by The Doctors Company that analyzed 415 claims that closed against plastic surgeons (from July 2015–December 2018).
1.3 credits

Oct 23, 2020
Cultural Diversity in Healthcare Poses New Risks During COVID-19
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
In the light of the pandemic, physicians and healthcare systems will need to respond to factors that put racial and ethnic minority groups at a greater risk of getting sick and dying. The conditions where people work and live affect underlying health conditions and also make it more difficult to access needed medical care and tests. This can be complicated by literacy and language barriers along with socioeconomic barriers, such as lack of insurance, lack of access to transportation, and even immigration status.

Professional Education
Medical Error Prevention
The purpose of this monograph and continuing medical education activity is to provide physicians with the most current information regarding the prevention of common performance and diagnostic errors.
2.0 credits

Professional Education
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.
2.0 credits

Professional Education
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.
2.0 credits

Sep 21, 2020
Obtaining Informed Consent in Teaching Institutions
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
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.

Professional Education
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.
1.3 credits

Professional Education
Diagnostic Cardiology Closed Claims Study: An Expert Analysis of Medical Malpractice Allegations
The specialty of cardiology is complex and has underlying vulnerabilities that can put patients at risk of injury and can increase liability for cardiologists and other clinicians who treat heart patients. Understanding common areas of liability and risk exposure are a valuable way to make effective practice improvements.
0.5 credit

Sep 02, 2020
Remote Patient Monitoring
Sue Boisvert, BSN, MHSA, Patient Safety Risk Manager II
The adoption of telehealth strategies has soared, including the use of remote devices that collect data and send it to the patient’s doctor in real time. Although remote monitoring has advantages for both providers and patients, it entails cyber liability risks.

Aug 19, 2020
Telephone Communication for Physicians: Safety Strategies
Nicole Franklin, MS, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
When casually or carelessly conducted, telephone communications can lead to diagnostic errors and misunderstandings.

Aug 19, 2020
Telephone Triage and Medical Advice Protocols
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Telephone triage requires an accurate assessment of the patient’s concerns without the benefit of a face-to-face visit.

Aug 07, 2020
Lessons Learned from COVID-19 in New York City: Preparation Is Key
Keith M. Blechman, MD, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
After some rocky early days, leaping the hurdles set by the COVID-19 pandemic has created positive outcomes for my practice, as I have made changes to become more efficient through integrated telemedicine.

Aug 04, 2020
Your Patient Is Logging On Now: The Risks and Benefits of Telehealth in the Future of Healthcare
Due to COVID-19, sweeping benefits from telehealth are still emerging—and so are its risks. Reduced infection risk and increased access to care are possible with recognition that telemedicine is not a panacea: Telemedicine is a helpful adjunct to in-person care, when supported by best known practices.

Jul 29, 2020
Physicians Can Be at Risk When Homebound Patients Refuse Help
Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Physicians face potential liability when patients refuse help that is offered or neglect to follow up as instructed.

Jul 24, 2020
Violence in New York Hospitals: Liability Issues
Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Violence has become increasingly common in the workplace over the past decade, especially in the healthcare setting, and New York hospitals may face liability when people are injured on their premises.

Professional Education
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.
2.0 credits

Professional Education
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.
2.3 credits

Jul 07, 2020
Weekend Call Presents Unique Challenges with Surrogate Birth
Amy Wasdin, RN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management.
Communication among healthcare providers, patients, and adoptive parents is critical.

Professional Education
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.
1.0 credit

May 07, 2020
Informed Refusal
Richard F. Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Documenting a patient’s refusal of test or treatment options is key to minimizing risk exposure.

May 07, 2020
Informed Consent: Substance and Signature
Robert Morton, CPHRM, CPPS, Assistant Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
Informed consent protects and informs both the patient and the physician.

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.

Professional Education
General Surgery: Miscommunication and Inaccurate Documentation
Failures of systems often prevent physicians from making timely diagnoses. Failures may result when documentation is inconsistent or not thoroughly read. Other factors that hinder timely diagnosis include inadequate hand-offs or referrals.
0.5 credit

Apr 09, 2020
Exclusively for Member Practices: Risk Management Fundamentals for the Practice Manager
Our complimentary program is exclusive to all member practice managers, both clinical and nonclinical, who are new to the role or seek further education regarding the application of risk management and patient safety measures (or principles) in an office-based medical or dental practice.

Apr 02, 2020
COVID-19: How to Temporarily Close Your Practice While Minimizing Risks
Richard Cahill, Vice President and Associate General Counsel; Todd Zeiter, Vice President, National Underwriting
During the COVID-19 pandemic, with patients and practices postponing care for nonemergent situations, many physicians are wondering how to temporarily reduce their hours or even close their practices—while minimizing risks.

Professional Education
Neurosurgery: Communications and System Failure Leading to Diagnostic Error (Claims Corner CME)
Failures of systems often prevent physicians from making timely diagnoses. Failures may result when needed equipment isn’t available or when access to a patient is difficult. System failures may result when there is a lack of coordination of appropriate care among providers, or when poor communication among providers leads to missed and delayed diagnoses.
0.5 credit

Mar 09, 2020
Patient Safety Strategies for Hospitalists
Kathleen Stillwell, MPA/HSA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager
Hospitalists face liability risks based on their role as an inpatient’s attending physician, covering physician, consultant, and/or co-manager. Two common problem areas are confusion regarding the hospitalist’s role in the patient care continuum and miscommunication during the different phases of inpatient care, especially during handoffs.

Mar 06, 2020
Dealing with Online Patient Complaints
David O. Hester, FASHRM, CPHRM, Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Physicians are understandably concerned about the consequences of negative posts about them on social media platforms.

Jan 30, 2020
Doctors: How to Talk to Patients About Nutrition and Diet
Kerin Torpey Bashaw, MPH, RN, Senior Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
No more powerful an approach exists to preventing or even reversing heart disease than improving lifestyle, especially nutrition and diet. The challenge for physicians is finding an effective way to talk about nutrition with their patients, because the usual admonitions to eat better and exercise often do not work.

Jan 24, 2020
A New Generation of Physicians Matures into Patient Safety Leadership
Kerin Torpey Bashaw, MPH, RN, Senior Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Now in its tenth year, the Academy for Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety offers a multiday immersive patient safety learning experience for healthcare professionals—all of whom make a commitment to complete at least one project to improve patient safety in the field.

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.

Professional Education
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.
0.8 credit

Video Dec 16, 2019
Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare: Benefits and Risks
A third of U.S. physicians are already using artificial intelligence (AI) in their practices, and many believe there is ample reason to think this advanced technology can help address diagnostic errors—the largest cause of malpractice claims. However, there are still unresolved questions about the risks.

Professional Education
Spotlight on Anesthesia Claims: Moving the Needle
In this course we will show how comorbidities complicated the delivery of good anesthesia care. And we will share how important a thorough history and physical is to identifying potential problems that occur in the administration of anesthesia care.
1.0 credit

Dec 11, 2019
Cultural Diversity Creates Language Barriers: Reducing Claims with Multilingual Patients
Rich Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety Education, The Doctors Company
Clear and unambiguous communication constitutes the key component of the physician-patient relationship. Proactively implementing office procedures to promote optimum communication reduces the risk of disputes.

Professional Education
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.
3.0 credits

Professional Education
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.
2.5 credits

Professional Education
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.
3.0 credits

Nov 12, 2019
Closing or Relocating a Healthcare Practice
Physician practices close for many reasons, including physician illness or death or a decision to sell, practice solo, join another group, relocate, or retire. These patient safety and risk management tips can help make the transition easier.

Nov 05, 2019
When Treating Kids, Learn from the Emergency Department
Phyllis L. Hendry, MD, FAAP, FACEP
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.

Oct 31, 2019
The Algorithm Will See You Now: How AI’s Healthcare Potential Outweighs Its Risk
A third of U.S. physicians are already using artificial intelligence (AI) in their practices, and many believe there is ample reason to think this advanced technology can help address diagnostic errors—the largest cause of malpractice claims. However, there are still unresolved questions about the risks.

Professional Education
Advanced Practice Providers Closed Claims: What Can We Learn?
A recent study by the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that the U.S. would need an additional 95,900 doctors, 22,700 NPs, and 12,800 PAs immediately if healthcare use patterns were equalized across race, insurance coverage, and geographic location. More understanding of the liability associated with APPs can help provide insight on the current situation and identify strategies that decrease risk, improve patient safety, and advance patient care.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
Dementia Q&A: What Physicians Ask About Diagnosis and Treatment
This course focuses on the common concerns and questions expressed by physicians about dementia and cognitive impairment. This course covers making the initial observation of cognitive decline and beginning a conversation with older adult patients; overcoming common barriers to making a definitive diagnosis of dementia; and managing the ongoing clinical needs of patients experiencing dementia.
1.5 credits

Professional Education
Dementia Behavioral and Environmental Symptoms Management
The third course focuses on using the DICE (Describe, Investigate, Create Treatment Plan, and Evaluate) method to assess behavioral symptoms of dementia and to create effective treatment plans. The course also covers the careful use of medication during disease management, as well as common behavioral issues experienced by patients with dementia, including tools for management of these behaviors.
1.3 credits

Professional Education
Dementia End of Life Planning: Effective Communications with Patients and Families
The fourth course covers important end of life planning topics and concepts, and tips for having these sensitive conversations with patients and family members. The course finishes with a focus on dementia community resources, effective communication strategies, and understanding when it is appropriate to make a referral to a specialist.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
Pharmacotherapy for Patients with Major Neurocognitive Disorder
This activity includes video lectures and is the fifth in a series of courses that seek to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. This course focuses on the most frequently used prescription medications for Alzheimer's disease and dementias, the current research regarding its use, and guidelines for prescribing and discontinuing medication.
1.3 credits

Professional Education
Dementia: Pharmacological Management of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms
This activity includes three video lectures and is the sixth in a series of courses that seek to educate clinicians on standardized screening, evaluation, and disease management of Alzheimer's and related dementias. This course focuses on the selection and appropriate usage of psychotropic prescription medications to manage the behavioral and psychological symptoms most frequently exhibited by patients with Alzheimer's and dementia diagnosis.
1.3 credits

Professional Education
Physical Examination and Its Impact on Outcomes
Advancements in technology improve the timeliness and accuracy of many diagnoses but the technology does not replace a thorough physical examination. For some diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, herpes zoster, cellulitis, and Bell’s palsy the PE is the only diagnostic tool available. This short course makes the case for reversing the downward trend for physical examinations.
0.8 credit

Professional Education
Neurological Case Study: Management of the Surgical Patient
This Claims Corner examines a neurosurgical case that alleges several failures to assess and treat a patient in a timely manner. It also highlights the importance of communicating with physicians and advanced practice providers involved with post-surgical care.
0.5 credit

Professional Education
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.
1.0 credit

Professional Education
Ob/Gyn: Telephone Communications
The most frequent inconsistent practice found in the Practice Risk INSIGHT assessments was telephone communication (22 percent not met). When appropriate and adequate systems are in place, the physician is less at risk for having a suit filed. This case-based study provides insights and risk management techniques to lessen the frequency and severity of such a claim.
0.5 credit

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

Professional Education
Preventing Adverse Outcomes When Treating Children
The Doctors Company studied claims filed on behalf of pediatric patients that closed over a 10-year period from 2008 through 2017. You are provided the most common types of claims and includes expert insights into the specific elements that led to patient injury, and risk mitigation strategies.
1.0 credit

Jan 28, 2019
Smile! The Doctor Is on Camera: The Pros and Cons of Recording Office Visits and Procedures
Rich Cahill, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
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.

Dec 01, 2018
Survey: Doctors Conflicted but Patients Still Top Concern
Bill Fleming, Chief Operating Officer
The Future of Healthcare Survey revealed a complicated picture about the attitudes of physicians towards the state of healthcare.

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.

Video Jul 27, 2018
The Stress Paradigm: 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, on distracting devices and how they contribute to physician 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.

Apr 23, 2018
Physician Beats Burnout and Restores Quality of Life—with Scribes
Hans Haydon, MD, an internal medicine physician, was distressed that time-consuming EHR documentation was driving up his work hours and stress. With the use of a medical scribe, Dr. Haydon was able to restore productivity, quality interactions with patients, and work-life balance.

Video Jan 24, 2018
How to Spot Potentially Violent Patients
Healthcare workers face significant risk of job-related violence: 52% of all workplace violence occurs in healthcare. Mitigating the risk of violence includes early identification of high-risk patients.

Video Aug 19, 2017
How to Build Patient-Centered Relationships
A patient-centered relationship can improve patient outcomes. The first step in developing a patient-centered relationship is starting a dialogue with the patient and exploring the patient's concerns.

Video Aug 14, 2017
Tips for Improving Patient Satisfaction
Physicians who communicate well with their patients have higher patient satisfaction scores and lower liability risks. Self-analysis and coaching can help physicians become better communicators.

Video Aug 05, 2017
Don't Interrupt. Let Your Patient Talk
Diagnostic accuracy is improved when physicians give patients the time and space to tell their story. By allowing patients the time they need to explain the reason for their visit, physicians can reduce "doorknob questions," which occur when the patient brings up what may be the most critical symptom just as the doctor is leaving the exam room.

Video Jun 27, 2017
Democratizing Healthcare
Healthcare will soon be democratized as patients’ increased access to technology enables them to more easily manage their own healthcare. The positive side of the patient’s new role is that they can diagnose and treat minor issues, but the downside could be a patient not seeing a doctor when it’s necessary to see a credentialed expert.

Video Jun 27, 2017
The Impact of Patient Portals
Patient portals are weaving together the doctors’ and patients’ electronic worlds, which is becoming increasingly important as the healthcare industry becomes digitized. The patient portal gives patients a look into the electronic health record (EHR) and enables them to do basic transactions such as scheduling appointments and requesting prescription refills. Currently, some patient portals even provide patients access to open notes, paving the way for all patient portals to provide this access in the future.

Video Jun 27, 2017
Evolving Patient-Facing Technologies
Patient-facing technologies are rapidly transforming. The federal government gave $30 billion to digitize the healthcare industry over the last five years, creating strong interest and advancements in health technology among technology companies. However, there are still things that must be worked out in order to ensure measurements in new tools are accurate, advice given to patients is appropriate, and that there is clear guidance when patients should see a doctor rather than manage their own care.

Video Jun 27, 2017
The Patient's New Role in Healthcare
Technology is changing the role of patients in healthcare. In the future, patients will have more access to the same tools and information that doctors have, enabling them to manage their own care. While this technology and increased access to information can be beneficial, it can also create the illusion that patients don’t need to see a doctor and patients may decide they are going to completely manage their health outside the supervision of an expert.

Video Jun 27, 2017
How Wearables Are Changing Healthcare
Mobile technology, including wearables, apps, mobile devices, and sensors, are changing the relationship between physicians and patients, potentially reducing the need for office visits. Information from these devices could be sent to doctors for patient monitoring. But this technology also creates challenges for doctors.

Jun 01, 2017
Patient Experience Survey (English)

Jun 01, 2017
Patient Experience Survey (Spanish)

Jun 01, 2017
Patient Experience Survey (Dental)

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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