Practice Improvement

Professional Education
Q&A - What Physicians Ask About Diagnosing and Treating Dementia
The Alzheimer's Project Series
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

Jun 18, 2019
Off-Label Use: Patient Safety Implications
Kim Hathaway, MSN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Healthcare Quality and Risk Management Consultant, and Richard Cahill, JD, Vice President and Associate General Counsel
The standard for appropriate off-label use of medications and other products is what other similarly trained physicians would do, not what the manufacturer of the medication or product recommends.

Professional Education
Informed Consent in Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery
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
Claims Corner CME
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 credits

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 Doctor's Advocate
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

Feb 06, 2019
7 Critical Questions to Ask When Selecting Your Medical Malpractice Insurer
Whether you're choosing medical malpractice insurance for the first time or managing risk for a multi-state practice, selecting the right insurer is one of the most important decisions you'll make. This guide outlines the questions you should ask when choosing your medical malpractice carrier.

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 21, 2018
Integrating Physician Practices into a Hospital-Based Risk Management Program
Amy Wasdin, RN, MBA, Patient Safety Risk Manager II
Overseeing risk management programs for acquired physician practices can be a daunting prospect for even the most seasoned hospital risk manager. This article provides tips for risk managers to identify and assess liability in an office setting.

Professional Education
Medical Error Prevention
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.
2.0 Credits

Professional Education
Preventing Nursing Liability by Preventing Patient Falls
1.0 Credit

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.

Nov 20, 2018
Physician Burnout: Perspectives, Stories, and Solutions
Growing administrative demands and distractions in our complex healthcare system conflict with how physicians want to provide care—contributing to alarming rates of physician burnout and potentially leading to more adverse events and compromising patient safety.

Video Oct 31, 2018
Healthcare Payment Models: Surgeon General's Perspective
Physicians and patients are now faced with changes in payment models, and doctors can help shape the future of healthcare toward being based on outcomes rather than fighting for reimbursements, individual procedures, or piecemeal parts of the healthcare system, according to U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH. His comments were made to attendees at The Doctors Company's 2018 Executive Advisory Board meeting.

Sep 27, 2018
Medical Office Assessments Uncover Hidden Liability Risks
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education
From The Doctor’s Advocate

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.

Sep 06, 2018
On Alert: What All Doctors Need to Know About Alzheimer’s Disease
Cynthia Morrison, RN, ARM, CPHRM, CPPS, Patient Safety Risk Manager, The Doctors Company
As the population ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death. Early diagnosis of dementia, requiring the expertise of a neuropsychiatric physician who specializes in dementia, is essential to allow for maximum quality of life. Physicians of all specialties should become familiar with the early signs of this disease in order to refer patients with symptoms to a specialist for further testing.

Video Aug 29, 2018
Analyzing Malpractice Claims Improves Patient Safety
The Doctors Company Claims Analysis INSIGHT Service helps physicians figure out what is driving their medical malpractice claims, improve their ability to give better quality of care, and ultimately reduce claims. Pamela Willis, patient safety risk manager at The Doctors Company, and Tony Cardona, director of medical legal affairs for the Scripps Clinic/Scripps Medical Foundation, explain the process.

Aug 08, 2018
How to Train New-Hire Physicians on Practice Culture
Daniel Cassavar, MD, MBA, FACC, and Angela M. Brandt, EMBA
Physicians are increasingly gravitating to careers as employees rather than solo practitioners. It pays to invest in cultural alignment from the outset to promote a stable, longstanding career for physicians within the organization.

Professional Education
The Risks of Distracted Practice in the Perioperative Area
The invasion of personal electronic devices (PEDs) into certain healthcare environments can put patients at risk. The perioperative area is an environment where distraction from PEDs can lead to patient injury or death. This activity provides tools and information for individuals to become aware of risks, to assess how PEDs impact their environment, and to develop preventive measures to control PED usage.
1.5 Credits

Jun 12, 2018
Digital Medicine and the Future of Healthcare
The digitization of medicine is transforming the entire healthcare system—new technologies like mobile apps and wearables bring both benefits and risks, patient access to healthcare is evolving, EHRs have created new patient safety risks, and artificial intelligence is evolving to play a role in future patient care.

Jun 07, 2018
Team Synergy: A Critical Core Competency for Safe Care
Lisa McCorkle, MSN, MBA, Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
An account of one group’s efforts to create and sustain a team-oriented culture through teamwork training.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Jun 05, 2018
Define Your Core Values, Transform Your Medical Practice
Brandon Betancourt, practice administrator for Salud Pediatrics in Chicago, describes how his practice defined core values to address challenges and provide optimal patient care.

May 14, 2018
Improving Medical Office Communication and Safety
David O. Hester, FASHRM, CPHRM, Director, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
Develop procedures for your staff to help reduce communication errors with hospitals, labs, and other physicians, as well as communications within the office.

May 03, 2018
Healthcare Technology Risks and Rewards: Faster, Cheaper, Safer
David Chou, Vice President/Chief Information & Digital Officer, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, shares his insights on balancing the cybersecurity risks and patient care improvements of healthcare technology.

Video Apr 12, 2018
How High Reliability Organizations Aspire to Zero Patient Harm and Tackle Physician Burnout
Robert Morton and Lisa McCorkle of The Doctors Company’s Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management talk with Stephen Beeson, MD, founder of The Clinical Experience Project, after a two-day intensive workshop on “Becoming Valued Advisors of a High Reliability Organization Journey, Data Use, Physician Engagement, and Burnout.”

Apr 05, 2018
Big Data, EHRs, and Patient Care: How Healthcare Is Evolving
Shereese Maynard, a healthcare and health IT strategist, discusses how EHRs, cybersecurity, and big data are affecting medical practice management.

Professional Education
Taking the Mal Out of Malpractice: Incident Analysis Leads to Sustained Improvement
Improvements made in clinical care often result by looking beyond what seems to be the obvious cause to find the underlying or root of an actual or potential injury. This activity demonstrates how changes designed to tackle root cause(s) are more likely to produce sustainable improvements in your practice that prevent reoccurrence of an injury, error, or near miss.
1.0 Credit

Video Feb 27, 2018
A Patient Safety Culture Is Key for Medical Practices
Do your practice's policies and culture promote patient safety or undermine it? Jason W. Miller, MPA, CMPE, chief executive officer at Reiter, Hill, Johnson & Nevin, the largest privately owned OB group in the DC metro area, used The Doctors Company's Practice Safety Culture INSIGHT Service to perform a diagnostic checkup on the practice's culture and its impact on patient safety. This confidential service assesses daily office routines, management practices, policies, procedures, and communication style and benchmarks the results against practices nationwide.

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.

Jan 24, 2018
Avoid Being Put on the RAC: Be Prepared for a Recovery Audit Contractor Audit
Kathleen Stillwell, MPA, RN, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager
Any medical practice submitting claims to a government program may contend with a Recovery Audit Contractor.

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 Jan 09, 2018
Finding Hidden Liability Risks in Medical Practices
What risks are you missing? What questions aren't you asking? Ted Abernathy, MD, of Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners in Virginia, used The Doctors Company's Practice Risk INSIGHT Service to do a full and comprehensive liability evaluation of his practice. The data-driven recommendations from this evaluation helped him find ways to improve safety and reduce his risk, including changes to protocols, policies, and forms, as well as establishing a parent advisory council.

Dec 15, 2017
Frequently Asked Questions: Americans with Disabilities Act
Susan Shepard, MSN, RN, Senior Director, Patient Safety and Risk Management Education, and Richard F. Cahill, Esq., Vice President and Associate General Counsel
Our experts answer questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is designed to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities and provide enforceable standards to address such discrimination.

Oct 24, 2017
Give Your Patient Safety Culture a Check Up Using Assessment Survey
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Healthcare managers are making concerted efforts to cultivate a pervasive culture of patient safety. Creating a patient safety culture shifts the focus away from the blame game that punishes individuals for failures—which can increase liability over the long term—toward creating policies and procedures that cultivate an environment of openness and foster patient safety.

Aug 15, 2017
Objective Review of Potential Risks in a Medical Practice Can Be Beneficial
Ted Abernathy, MD, Managing Partner of Pediatric & Adolescent Health Partners discusses his experience with an assessment service offered by The Doctors Company which provided his practice with a comprehensive checkup of key areas and customized action plan.

Jun 14, 2017
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 medical scribes.

Mar 01, 2017
Reduce Patient Safety Risks with Vaccinations
Debbie Hill, RN, MBA, CPHRM, and Lisa McCorkle, MSN, CPHRM, Patient Safety Risk Managers, The Doctors Company
Whether seeing patients for back-to-school immunizations or preparing adult patients for travel abroad, this article can help doctors assess the vaccine administration protocol in their practice to reduce risks and enhance patient safety.

Dec 14, 2016
The Doctor’s Dilemma
Howard Marcus, MD, FACP
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Oct 26, 2016
Optimize the EHR: Better Workflow Means Better Work-Life Balance
Chad Anguilm, Director of Professional Services, Medical Advantage Group. Medical Advantage Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Doctors Company.
There are tools that can streamline patient care and payment workflows in the electronic health record (EHR). By dedicating time and effort up front to optimize the EHR, physicians can get relief from administrative tasks, reduce duplicate entry of data, and save time by not having to search for records in multiple places.

Video Oct 05, 2016
We're Taking the Mal Out of Malpractice Insurance
The Doctors Company has always been guided by a fundamental belief: that the practice of good medicine should be advanced, protected, and rewarded in every way. That’s why we’re starting a movement to take the “mal” out of malpractice insurance—to better reflect the kind of forward-thinking partner that practices and organizations are seeking today.

Jul 26, 2016
CANDOR Toolkit: Physicians Now Have the Right Tools to Do the Right Thing After an Adverse Event
Robin Diamond, MSN, JD, RN, Senior Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk Management
The Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) Toolkit helps hospitals and doctors communicate openly and effectively with patients after adverse events.

Video Jul 14, 2016
A New Vital Sign: Health Data
A whole new generation of vital signs: That’s how a busy emergency physician wants to see data transform healthcare. Learn how these new vital signs will guide care, bringing personalized medicine to each patient—it’s the vision of Kevin R. Ward, MD, executive director of Fast Forward Medical Innovation: University of Michigan Medical School, a panelist at The Doctors Company’s 2016 Executive Advisory Board.

Video Jul 14, 2016
Leveraging Data to Improve Patient Care
Right care, right patient, right time, right place. For that to happen, doctors need data immediately available to them, says Kevin R. Ward, MD, executive director of Fast Forward Medical Innovation: University of Michigan Medical School , a panelist at The Doctors Company’s 2016 Executive Advisory Board.

Video Apr 29, 2016
Retailer Impact on Healthcare Delivery
What will retailers do in the healthcare delivery space? Get insight into the different types of retailers entering the healthcare marketplace, highlighting the types of services they may provide and why they appeal to consumers. Physicians should consider partnerships with retailers that are aligned with populations that match their expertise.

Video Apr 18, 2016
The New Healthcare Consumer
As healthcare evolves, it’s important to understand the changing needs and desires of the healthcare consumers.

Video Apr 04, 2016
Changes in the Future of Healthcare
Healthcare is undergoing unprecedented change, with a combination of factors (access, cost, and trends) making that change even more rapid.

Video Apr 04, 2016
Retailization of Healthcare: What Do Consumers Want?
The retailization of healthcare puts more focus on healthcare consumers. Consumers want something different than what currently exists in the healthcare system—convenient care, when they want it and when they need it.

Feb 18, 2016
Are Decisions Shared?
Robin Diamond, JD, RN, Senior Vice President, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management
There is a growing emphasis on patient-centered care and shared decision making in healthcare.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Video Nov 16, 2015
Humanizing Healthcare Professionals
Kevin Pho, MD, of, social media’s leading physician voice, believes that healthcare professionals should share their personal stories online to counter negative media portrayals of the medical profession.

Video Oct 27, 2015
Physicians as Online Information Curators
The healthcare landscape is evolving: 7 out of 10 Internet users access health information on the web. But this information is often unreliable. The problem today is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of understanding of how to apply that knowledge. Doctors need to be able to filter this information for patients.

Oct 19, 2015
Navigating Risks in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: How Physicians Can Enhance Patient Safety
Penny Greenberg, RN, MS, Senior Program Director, Patient Safety Services, CRICO Strategies; Darrell Ranum, JD, CPHRM, Vice President, Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company; Dana Siegal, RN, CPHRM, Director, Patient Safety, CRICO Strategies
Patients diagnosed with breast cancer must navigate the complex healthcare system while dealing with the emotions of their diagnosis, relying on the expertise, communication, and empathy of caregivers who practice in environments with inherent risks. A study by The Doctors Company and CRICO Strategies reveals the top patient safety risks in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and how to reduce those risks.

Video Oct 15, 2015
A Physician's Approach to Social Media
Kevin Pho, MD, of, social media’s leading physician voice, shares his recommendations for how doctors should approach social media, including how to handle physician-rating sites, the top social networking sites, and Google My Business.

Video Sep 28, 2015
Physician Social Media Anecdotes
Three doctors are successfully using social media to build their online reputations and engage patients: Dr. Zubin Damania (, Dr. Howard Luks (, and MacArthur obstetrics and gynecology clinic in Texas (

Video Sep 14, 2015
Physicians: How to Manage Online Criticism
Patients have more avenues than ever to express opinions online about their doctor, making it inevitable that a doctor will face criticism on the web. Here are tips for how doctors should respond.

Video Jul 20, 2015
How to Monitor Your Online Reputation
More patients than ever are researching their doctors on the web, so doctors must vigilantly monitor their online presence. Negative news stories and negative reviews from patients can be part of a doctor’s online presence, so doctors must keep up to date.

Jul 08, 2015
Laboratory and Diagnostic Test Tracking in Ambulatory Practice
Dana Faber, RN, BS, Patient Safety Risk Manager.
Inadequate clinical laboratory and diagnostic test tracking is a top factor leading to patient injury.

Video Jul 07, 2015
How to Protect Your Online Reputation
Once a doctor establishes an online reputation, the doctor must protect it by avoiding violating patient privacy. Protecting patient information is key to a doctor’s online reputation, and doctors should aim well above the minimum privacy standards established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Video Jun 23, 2015
Physician-Rating Sites: Friend or Foe?
The majority of online patient ratings are positive, and better than most doctors might think. Asking patients to rate you is a great way for you to leverage the visibility of physician-rating sites to establish an online reputation.

Video Jun 08, 2015
Establishing a Physician's Online Reputation
Doctors should establish their online reputations by using physician-rating sites, recommends Kevin Pho, MD, of, social media’s leading physician voice. These sites contain doctor profiles and are backed by companies with expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), meaning these profile pages will rank high when a patient Googles a doctor’s name.

Video May 26, 2015
3 Ways Doctors Can Use Social Media
Doctors can use social media in three ways, according to Kevin Pho, MD, of, social media’s leading physician voice: Filtering information for patients, connecting with colleagues, and making the doctor's voice heard.

Video Mar 17, 2015
Physician Branding on Social Media
Physicians can brand themselves on social media using a “hub and spoke strategy,” says Kevin Pho, MD, of, social media’s leading physician voice.

Mar 12, 2015
Social Media Resources for Physicians
Social media is a powerful tool for physicians, allowing them to engage with patients, grow their online reputation, and make their voice heard. These resources can help doctors get started on social media and expand their online presence.

Video Mar 10, 2015
A Physician's Reputation: Online and Off
A physician’s online reputation is just as vital as a physician’s reputation in the community, according to Kevin Pho, MD, of, social media’s leading physician voice. In this era of transparency—when any patient can go online to research a doctor—it is more important than ever for doctors to proactively manage their online reputation.

Dec 10, 2014
Editorial Comment on Maintenance of Certification
David B. Troxel, MD, Medical Director, Board of Governors
Dr. Troxel suggests ways to restructure the MoC examination process to adapt it to changes in the healthcare delivery system.
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Video Nov 10, 2014
Healthcare Billing Risks
All healthcare providers are vulnerable to fines and penalties if they submit bills for reimbursement to the government or private payers. This video presents an overview of the risks to healthcare providers posed by billing errors and omissions.

Video Nov 03, 2014
Your Risks as a Healthcare Employer
With the exception of malpractice lawsuits, employment-related claims present the most severe exposure to a medical practice. This video presents an overview of the risks to medical practices and recommends the steps practices should take to reduce their exposure.

Aug 26, 2014
A Team Approach to Reducing Risk
Paul Bauer, MD, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Medicine, and Tara Benton, MD, MSCI, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
From The Doctor’s Advocate

Video Aug 19, 2014
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, 2014
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, 2014
Successful Patient Communication Techniques
Two techniques can help physicians communicate effectively with patients—and help patients better understand their treatment.

Video Aug 05, 2014
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 Jul 08, 2014
How Culture Affects Patient Safety
No medical staff member wants to think that the care they provide is inadequate in any way. But using adverse events and case-based learning to illustrate how medical misadventures occur is a powerful way of demonstrating how care can be improved.

Video Jul 08, 2014
Easy Solutions for Improving Patient Care
When a medical error occurs, it's often because the system has broken down and needs to be improved. Using case-based learning from adverse events provides a framework for examining where the system broke down, how the system can be improved, and how the staff can be educated about a changed system.

Video Jul 08, 2014
What Is Crew Resource Management?
Crew resource management involves empowering all staff, including ancillary personnel such as nurses and medical assistants, to speak up and voice concerns if a patient's safety is compromised. With crew resource management, residents and other more junior staff members learn to become comfortable questioning decisions made by physician leaders. Physician leaders, in turn, learn to respond to those questions in a respectful manner.

Video Jul 08, 2014
Five Steps to a Patient Safety Culture
This videos outlines ways to improve the patient safety culture in your practice.

Dec 20, 2013
Interactive Guide to Patient Safety for Office Practices
This interactive guide is designed to help you uncover areas of potential malpractice exposure in your practice.

May 29, 2012
In Pursuit of Quality: Embedding Patient Safety into Practice
Sara Olson, BSN, RN.
The Doctors Company's Quality Factor Program is an innovative initiative that helps practices implement and sustain patient safety improvements.

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