The Doctor’s Advocate | Third Quarter 2018
Innovations in Patient Safety

Influencing Patient Behaviors in Orthopedic Practice

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 Ralph A. Gambardella, MD, an orthopedic surgery and sports medicine specialist with the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California. The Doctors Company’s Orthopedics Closed Claims Study revealed that patient behaviors are a factor in over one-third of orthopedic claims. The practice identified three areas where it could influence behavioral change by improving doctor-patient communication, office-patient communication regarding financial responsibility, and the patient selection process for surgery.

As a result of the study, Dr. Gambardella’s practice adopted a patient engagement application for smartphones. To clarify financial responsibility, it improved patients’ ability to identify costs and to work with financial advisors at the practice and the surgery center. Finally, the practice adopted a preoperative screening assessment to identify comorbidities, thereby improving the surgery selection process and lowering risk.

Watch this compelling video for insights from Dr. Gambardella on steps his practice took to influence behavioral change and improve patient safety.

Learn More

Go to to read our Orthopedics Closed Claims Study.

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.

Third Quarter 2018

From the Chairman
Advocates for the Medical Profession in a Time of Upheaval

An Ounce of Prevention
Medical Office Assessments Uncover Hidden Liability Risks

Government Relations Report
New Limits on Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

New CME Courses Address Distracted Practice Concerns

Innovations in Patient Safety
Influencing Patient Behaviors in Orthopedic Practice

The Back Page
Industry and Company News

See more issues