Risky Practices: Preventing Patients from Falling Through the Cracks

Program Description

The Doctors Company analyzes allegations made by patients and families to identify root cause for their malpractice claims or medical and dental board complaints. Often missed diagnosis, delays in diagnosis, poor communication, or documentation issues trigger a patient to file a claim or a complaint and can result in a poor patient outcome. Years of studying closed claims have identified those core areas within the office setting that generate claims. This presentation introduces concepts and practices known to improve office systems which enhance tracking of patient information, medical record documentation, and communication with patients. Best practices include the establishment of systems within the office setting that everyone follows to prevent patients from “falling through the cracks.”


After completing this activity, learners will be able to:

  • Construct strategies designed to monitor common areas of risk known to generate claims within the medical office setting
  • Establish follow-up systems for tracking labs, tests, and consultations with specialists
  • Conduct an accurate inspection of medical records and other documentation to “close the loop” on patient appointments, telephone encounters, and services
  • Evaluate office procedures, including documentation, for informed consent and informed refusal


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. 


Debbie Hill, MBA, BSN, CPHRM, CPPS
Patient Safety Risk Manager II, 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 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only those credits commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Course ID#: TDS180109
Issue Date for This Activity: 10/04/2018
Expiration Date for This Activity: 10/04/2019


The information and guidelines contained in this activity are generalized and may not apply to all practice situations. The faculty recommends 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.

Complies with State Requirements

Content is approved for ethics or professional responsibility credit required by the Texas Medical Board.

Contact Us

If you have questions, contact educationsupport@thedoctors.com or call (800) 421-2368, extension 1243.