When Personal Relationships Interfere with the Standard of Care for Advanced Practice Clinicians


The Doctors Company rigorously analyzed 988 claims* against internal medicine physicians that closed from 2009–2018. Regardless of the outcome, all cases that closed from 2009–2018 were included in this analysis—an approach that helps better understand what motivates patients to pursue claims and gain a broader overview of the system failures and processes that result in patient harm. This course, based on the study, focuses on the following areas:

  • Most common patient allegations
  • Most common patient injuries
  • Injury severity
  • Factors contributing to patient injury
  • Most common clinical conditions resulting in patient harm
  • Strategies for mitigating risk

Insight from experts and relevant cases in the report were converted to interactive learning examples. By completing this course, Advanced Practice Clinicians can gain knowledge beyond their own experience—even if that knowledge is gained over a lifetime of practice—and can identify system weaknesses in their office and hospital practices, thereby reducing the risk of harm to patients.

*A written notice, demand, lawsuit, arbitration proceeding, or screening panel in which a demand is made for money or a bill reduction and which alleges injury, disability, sickness, disease, or death of a patient arising from the Advanced Care Providers rendering or failing to render professional services.

Course ID #: ANE221098.0 Issue Date: 6/15/2022 Expiration Date: 6/15/2025

Description of the Professional Practice Gap (PPG)
To prevent injuries, it is essential for advanced practice clinicians to understand the factors that contribute to patient harm. Contributing factor categories include clinical judgment, technical skill, patient behaviors, communication, clinical systems, clinical environments, and documentation.

Learning Outcome

  •  The learner will be able to identify factors in their practice and be able to focus on those contributing factors to prevent  harm by achieving passing rate of 80 percent in interactive questions.

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Breakdown a case study to understand factors that can lead to a plaintiff’s judgement.
  • Prioritize using the Well’s criteria when assessing risk factors that may be a sign of DVT/PE.
  • Explore the various pitfalls of treating family and friends.
  • Evaluate individual thinking process to prevent a narrow diagnostic focus.

Course Developers

Kimberly Hathaway, MSN, RN, CPHRM, CPHQ, Director Patient Safety Healthcare Quality & Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Debbie Hill, RN, MBA, CPHRM, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company
Johanna Lackner, MPH, MSW, Senior Director, Continuing Professional Development, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Accreditation and Disclosure Statements
The Doctors Company is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

The Doctors Company designates this activity for a maximum of 0.5 nursing contact hourLearners should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
No individual in a position to control or influence the content of this activity has reported relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. No commercial support was provided for this activity. 

Disclaimer Statement
This program is being offered for informational and educational purposes only from a Patient Safety Risk Management perspective and does not constitute legal advice. Laws vary from state to state, actual clinical situations often involve subtle differences and nuances from program scenarios or recommendations, and the recommendations provided in this activity may not apply to all practice situations. In complex circumstances, which present significant potential for an adverse event or litigation, TDC and the faculty recommend you consult directly with your corporate or personal counsel for professional legal guidance. 

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurse CE Requirements by State.

Technical Requirements

The activity is best experienced using the most current browser: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported on this platform. All activities featuring audio must have a speaker. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, JavaScript and session cookies must be enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact educationsupport@thedoctors.com or call 800.421.2368.


Visit our Resource document for this program.