Patient Relationships

Mar 29, 2018
Obtaining Informed Consent in Teaching Institutions
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
It is important to inform patients when a resident physician will perform all or part of a procedure.

Feb 23, 2018
EHRs Can Advance Good Medicine―If Doctors Are Aware of the Risks
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director
Nearly all hospitals and 80 percent of medical practices use electronic health records, presumably to help improve access to health information and increase productivity. The problem is that none of these digital tools were designed specifically to advance the practice of good medicine.

Feb 21, 2018
Telephone Triage and Medical Advice
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
Telephone communication, a critical part of the patient's overall care and management, presents a significant area of liability exposure.

Feb 01, 2018
Rx for Patient Safety: Ask Me 3
Victoria H. Rollins, MHA, RN, Director, Patient Safety Programs.
The Ask Me 3 program is a time-efficient, effective tool that encourages patients to participate in their healthcare by asking questions.

Dec 06, 2017
Electronic Health Record Closed Claims Study
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
Dr. Troxel provides a follow-up to his 2015 analysis of EHR-related claims.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Oct 24, 2017
Physicians Can Be at Risk When Homebound Patients Refuse Help
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Physicians are focusing on treatment plans that include the kind of care patients need at home. However, physicians face potential liability when patients refuse help that is offered or neglect to follow up as instructed.

Jun 14, 2017
Take Note: How Medical Scribes Are Trained—And Used—Varies Widely
Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, Professor of Medicine, Director of Simulation, Oregon Health and Science University
Though it is the fastest growing medical field, there is little regulation or standardization for training scribes. In this article, Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University discusses the risks of using scribes based on a national survey of The Doctors Company's members.

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.

Nov 08, 2016
Meeting the Challenges of the Nonadherent Orthopedic Surgical Patient
Cynthia Morrison, RN, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, and Amy Wasdin, RN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II.
Orthopedic surgeons can reduce potential liability by following these tips for managing nonadherent patient behavior.

Sep 22, 2016
Electronic Health Record Malpractice Risks
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
It is important for physicians to become familiar with liability risks associated with electronic health records.

Jun 13, 2016
Telephone Communication for Physicians
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus, Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Nicole Franklin, MS, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II
When carelessly conducted, telephone communications can lead to diagnostic errors and misunderstandings that culminate in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits.

May 06, 2016
Shared Responsibility for Preventing Malpractice Suits—Patient Interactions
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Carol Murray, RHIA, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager II.
The basic emotions leading to any medical liability action are surprise, disappointment, and anger.

Feb 23, 2016
Smile! The Doctor Is on Camera: The Pros and Cons of Recording Office Visits and Procedures
Rich Cahill, 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.

Jun 01, 2015
Frequently Asked Questions: General Topics
Cynthia Morrison, RN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Manager.
Our experts answer questions about topics such as dictation, storage of medical records, and stolen prescription pads.

Apr 13, 2015
Damage Control: Dealing with Online Patient Complaints
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education, and David O. Hester, FASHRM, CPHRM, Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management.
There is no easy remedy to completely eradicate negative comments once they are on the Internet.

Feb 19, 2015
What Patients Should Know About Pain Management
When prescribing narcotic drugs for pain management, doctors should ensure that patients are fully informed of the medicine's risks and benefits, as well as alternatives to drug treatment.

Feb 01, 2015
Patient Selection for Elective Procedures
Susan Shepard, MSN. RN, Director, Patient Safety Education.
The patient selection process is a valuable tool for loss control, because many claims occur with patients who are not appropriate candidates for a procedure.

Jan 22, 2015
Working with Patients Who Do Not Follow the Treatment Plan
Patients who do not follow the treatment plan may become high liability risks because their behavior often exacerbates existing health problems, which can lead to negative outcomes.

Dec 02, 2014
Informed Refusal
Documenting a patient’s refusal of test or treatment options is key to minimizing risk exposure.

Nov 01, 2014
Bad Outcomes: From Surprise and Disappointment to Anger and a Lawsuit
Mark Gorney, MD, FACS (1924–2014), Governor Emeritus, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Anger is by far the most common factor that moves a patient to file a malpractice claim.

Sep 01, 2014
The Internet: Friend or Foe to Physicians
Robin Diamond, JD, RN; AHA Fellow-Patient Safety Leadership; Senior Vice President, Patient Safety.
Physicians must use care in dealing with Internet review sites used by consumers.

Mar 25, 2014
Encourage Patients to “Speak Up”
The Joint Commission's"Speak Up" campaign urges patients to take an active role in preventing errors by becoming more involved in and informed about their healthcare.

Nov 01, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions: Treating Patients in a Difficult Economy
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education; and Richard Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel, The Doctors Company.
Our experts answer questions about billing issues, including when patients are unable or unwilling to pay doctor charges.

Jun 26, 2013
No-Show New Patients May Leave Physicians at Risk
Physicians face certain risks and responsibilities when collecting patient information prior to the patient arriving for his or her appointment.

Mar 28, 2012
Rx for Diagnosis
Focus on documentation and communication to help avoid breakdowns in the diagnostic process.

Feb 08, 2012
Imperative Conversations: Managing Transitions of Care in the Hospital
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Director, Patient Safety Education.
Standardizing the handoff process has been shown to lower rates of perceived near-miss events and adverse outcomes.

Oct 01, 2011
Signing Off and Signing Out: Lost in Translation
Ann S. Lofsky, MD (1956–2008), Governor Emeritus, and Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
Whether signing out to a colleague for the weekend or permanently closing a practice, handing off responsibility for patient care can create liability risks for the physician.

Sep 01, 2011
Patient-Centered Communications: Building Patient Rapport
Wendy G. Anderson, MD, MS, Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
Communication skills can help hospitalists overcome barriers to care by ensuring a clear exchange of information that engenders patient trust.

Jul 01, 2011
Addressing Patient Issues and Other Challenging Situations
Pamela Willis, BSN, JD, Patient Safety Risk Management Account Executive.
Proactively address issues with patients through clear communication.

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