The Doctor’s Advocate | Fourth Quarter 2017

Hospitalist Insights

Our video series highlights how doctors nationwide are using the data-driven insights from our closed claims studies to improve patient safety in their practices or hospitals. Our vast database of claims gives us an unparalleled understanding of the most common patient allegations and factors contributing to injury, and our specialty-specific studies help shine a light on risks others don’t see.

This quarter, we feature John D. Nelson, MD, an internal medicine hospitalist at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington, who highlights insights from our Hospitalist Closed Claims Study. Dr. Nelson was surprised that the severity of patient injuries in claims against hospitalists was higher than against other specialists and that handoff communication was a major issue in many of the claims. In addition, Dr. Nelson notes that spinal epidural abscess, a condition relatively uncommon in the general population, is a reasonably common cause of malpractice lawsuits against hospitalists—and he provides insights on how hospitalists can be more vigilant in identifying its symptoms and pursuing the diagnosis.

Watch this important video for strategies on improving communication and diagnosis in the hospital setting.

Learn More
Read our Hospitalist Closed Claims Study at

The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published quarterly by Corporate Communications, The Doctors Company. Letters and articles, to be edited and published at the editor’s discretion, are welcome. The views expressed are those of the letter writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official policy of The Doctors Company. Please sign your letters, and address them to the editor.

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Here’s what to ask.

Selecting a medical malpractice insurer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. It's a prime opportunity to ask: Is this the type of insurer I want protecting my reputation?