Reducing the Risk of a Malpractice Claim


This enduring program is designed to assist physicians, dentists, and advanced practice clinicians, improve patient safety by providing information on how to implement a root cause analysis (RCA2) when a near-miss, or injury has been identified. Real cases serve as examples of how sustainable change can minimize human and environmental factors while decreasing system failures and reducing the risk of a malpractice claim.

Course ID #: TDE 221161.0 Issue Date: 10/10/2022 Expiration Date: 10/10/2025

Description of the Professional Gap (PPG)
Evaluating a near-miss or patient harm incident reveals the events, decisions, or steps that contribute to an injury. Studies have shown the current United States healthcare delivery system is susceptible to human errors and system flaws. Healthcare and dental teams, including clinicians, nurses, and staff, need to do better to identify the root cause of errors and implement robust corrective actions for sustainable change whereby decreasing patient harm events that can lead to claims and medical malpractice lawsuits.

Learning Outcome
The learner will apply the RCA2 methods to identify the root causes of patient injury in numerous real case examples by correctly completing exercises embedded in this activity.  

Learning Objectives
After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Identify the root causes of actual or potential patient injuries in the healthcare setting.
  • Employ the RCA2 tool to look beyond the apparent cause of a patient's injury.
  • Learn through case examples of other healthcare organizations how conducting an RCA2 can lead to sustainable improvement in patient care.
  • Distinguish how system failures, work conditions, human errors, and environment influence quality outcomes.


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.


The information and guidelines contained in this activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. We recommend that legal advice be obtained from a qualified attorney for specific application to your practice. The information is intended for educational purposes and should be used as a reference guide only.

Course Developers

Michelle Swift, RN, JD, Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Kimberly Hathaway, MSN, RN, CPHRM, CPHQ, Director Patient Safety Healthcare Quality & Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Johanna Lackner, MPH, MSW, Senior Director, Continuing Professional Development, Department of Patient Safety and Risk Management, The Doctors Company

Continuing Education Credit

The Doctors Company is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical educational activities for physicians.
The Doctors Company designates this activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


The Doctors Company is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at
The Doctors Company designates this activity for one 1.0 continuing education credit.

ANCC Accreditation

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 1.0 nursing contact hour. Learners should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Complies with State Requirements

Please SEE the Federation of State Medical Boards overview of Continuing Medical Education requirements by State. 
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 or call 800.421.2368.


Visit our Resource document for this program.