The Sullivan Group's e-Learning Newsletter
October 2013 - In This Issue
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Thank you for reviewing INSIGHT, a newsletter outlining news and events at The Sullivan Group and providing valuable advice and tips from the esteemed members of our Advisory Board. 

Dan Sullivan, MD, JD, FACEP
President & CEO

Leveraging Continuing Education for Nurses & Physicians to bring about meaningful change.
The Sullivan Group offers a series of scalable, comprehensive loss prevention and patient safety programs, specifically targeted at reducing medical errors and malpractice claims across the spectrum of high-risk medicine.The RSQ® Solutions (Risk-Safety-Quality) programs are tailored for a variety of medical and nursing specialties and based on a proven cyclical model of continuous quality improvement that drives change, strengthens clinical performance, and reduces risk exposure. Contact us to learn more.
What's New?

Captive Online Risk Education


Engage with Insureds

The Sullivan Group (TSG) has designed an affordable, immediate continuing education solution to meet the loss prevention goals of captives and risk retention groups. This program is easy to implement and access, and the entry point can be customized with your company's logo and color schematic. Authored by TSG's RSQ Advisory Board, a group of clinical experts/champions, these relatable courses will help you to better engage your insureds and enable you to stay in front of them with current medical malpractice issues. Read More


Best Care Lowest Cost Bundle: Aligning Patient Safety and Risk Education with Quality Improvement Initiatives to Reduce Hospital Readmissions


A comprehensive educational program designed to change behavior to increase the quality and efficiency of care for front line staff/at the bedside.


With the increased access to care afforded under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), we anticipate an adjustment period whereby hospitals will note a decrease in the quality of care provided to patients as a function of volume. To get ahead of this anticipated trend, we recommend a comprehensive program for the entire healthcare team to outline how they can make little changes in their approach that have great returns on the whole.


TSG has outlined a specific curriculum for quality improvement through risk mitigation and increased patient safety awareness. Read More


Course Updates
We are pleased to announce the release of evidence-based updates to the following courses:
  • Myocardial Infarction, Part 1
  • Myocardial Infarction, Part 2
  • Pulmonary Embolism, Part 1
  • Thoracic Aortic Dissection
  • Stroke Literature Review: Acute Stroke Management with


  • Stroke Part 1
**Significant Updates! The latest evidence-based medicine best practices were added to each of the courses listed above. As such, we recommend reassignment of the material.**

CME Courses in Development
The TSG faculty and staff are currently working on the following courses. We will keep you posted on our progress, but please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about what we have planned for each topic.
  • Disclosure & Early Resolution Programs
  • Communicating Bad News
  • Handoffs, Transitions & Discharges: Key Moments in Patient Care - LAUNCHED! 
  • Workplace Violence, Disruptive Behavior & Hostile Environment in Healthcare
  • 7 Simple Strategies to Reduce Readmissions
Upcoming Events

ACEP Scientific Assembly: October 14-17 (Seattle, WA) Booth #825
ASHRM Annual Conference: October 27-30 (Austin, TX) Booth #601
IMAC Cayman Captive: December 3-5 (Grand Cayman) Sponsor



Faculty Speaking Engagements


Dan Sullivan, MD, JD, FACEP, Tom Syzek, MD, FACEP, and Doug Finefrock, DO, are all speaking at ACEP.

"We couldn't be more pleased with our relationship with The Sullivan Group. Their risk education has been a hit with our practitioners and combined with the clinical risk assessment tool, we have been able to provide a comprehensive and very focused loss prevention program for our EDs. Now with a decade of claims data across 160 facilities, the data show a strong correlation between success in the program and our approximately 60% reduction in claims frequency."


Joseph Haase, CPHRM, President, HCI, Inc. (Hospital Corporation of America's insurance entity)


Advisory Board Spotlight
We appreciate this month's contributions from the following members of The Sullivan Group Advisory Board. For more information about the Board, please click here.
Doug Wojcieszak

Teaching Disclosure Starts with Empathy and Staying Connected Post-Event


The Sullivan Group Joining Forces with SorryWorks!


The Sullivan Group is proud to announce a new partnership with Sorry Works!, America's leading disclosure training organization. The companies have partnered to develop two new disclosure training courses for all healthcare, insurance and legal professionals. The flagship introductory program, Just-in-Time Trainer, is a 12-minute video that provides the basics of empathizing and how to stay connected post event. This short video course is a quick, yet comprehensive, introduction to disclosure for new hires; it also provides a timely refresher for staff in immediate need of assistance with a pending disclosure. 


Also under development is Disclosure and Apology Fundamentals. This CME course provides a complete overview of disclosure, including how disclosure and apology can resolve cases in a quick and fair fashion while providing closure for all stakeholders, clinicians included.


These two new courses will be launched at the upcoming ASHRM meeting in Austin, TX, October 27-30, 2013. Visit us at booth #601 to learn more and meet The Sullivan Group-SorryWorks! team.


Follow Doug View our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook

Website: http://sorryworkssite.bondwaresite.com/

Featured Courses:
  • Disclosure and Apology: Fundamentals
  • Disclosure and Apology: Just-In-Time Trainer
Doug Finefrock, DO
Patient Satisfaction

Improving the Experience of Care

Doug is passionate about improving the patient experience. Not only has he produced a comprehensive program called PatientSET™ for healthcare organizations to easily implement and record measurable changes in patient satisfaction scores, he is out on the road speaking on the subject. Doug's two lectures at ACEP this year (10/17/13) are:



"Decrease Your Liability by Increasing Your Patient Satisfaction Scores"

"Win-Win: How Improving the Patient Experience Improves Your Job Security"


Click here for Doug's introduction to the PatientSET™ program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea0VyQaLpOA


Follow Doug Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn 
Website: DrFinefrock.com
Follow this topic: PatientSET Follow us on Twitter

Featured Courses:
  • PatientSET™ #1: Introduction for All Healthcare Providers
  • PatientSET™ #2: Hospital Best Practice High-Risk Videos
  • PatientSET™ #3: Office Best Practice High-Risk Videos
  • PatientSET™ #4: Introduction for Nurses - in development
  • PatientSET™ #5: HCAHPS Videos for Nurses - in development
  • PatientSET™ #6: Healthcare Customer Service Videos for Nurses - in development
  • PatientSET™ #7: Healthcare Customer Service Videos for Other Employees - in development
  • PatientSET™ #8: Healthcare Customer Service Videos for Triage Nurses - in development
*Note: Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, collaborates with Doug on the development of the patient satisfaction courses for nursing.

Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN
Triage Nursing

Achieving Triage Consistency


Online triage continuing education was the focus for The Sullivan Group exhibit at the recent Emergency Nurses Association conference in Nashville, Tennessee. TSG has now delivered more than 16,000 triage nursing courses, and this conference offers an unparalleled opportunity to meet and interview learners to ensure needs are met and to assess opportunities for new educational offerings. Several nurses stopped by the booth to express gratitude for the reality-based approach to triage education.

Many attendees voiced the need to improve triage consistency as a focus for continuing education, specifically citing the need to continue clarifying the level 3 triage category. There i s a clinical practice gap; a variety of factors influence the triage nurse's decision to not place some of these patients as a level 2 triage, even when they meet the criteria. 




Some of the reasons cited include:

  • Lack of leadership support to comply with either ESI or CTAS guidelines
  • Peer pressure to not overload with "too many level 2 patients"
  • Lack of consistency in triage education to direct nurses to accurate triage decisions
  • Non-collaborative working environments 

The decision to assign a triage category has a direct impact on patient outcomes. Drivers for patient satisfaction, staff retention, and rapid identification of patients with highest potential for demise necessitate ongoing triage education and competency validation.

Follow Shelley Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook
Follow this topic: RSQ_TriageSTAT Follow us on Twitter

Featured Courses:
  • Triage Fundamentals: A comprehensive suite of courses (ranging in length from one to two hours) targeting risk issues in triage nursing. Seven of the eleven courses are live, and cover topics such as The Risky Business of Triage, practice standards, assessment and documentation, etc. 
    • The final course in this series, #11, is launching 1/1/14!
  • PatientSET™ #6: Healthcare Customer Service Videos for Nurses - in development
  • PatientSET™ #7: Healthcare Customer Service Videos for Other Employees - in development
  • PatientSET™ #8: Healthcare Customer Service Videos for Triage Nurses - in development
Arnie Mackles, MD, MBA, LHRM
Risk Management & Patient Safety
Arnold Mackels, MD, MBA

Protect your patients with strategies and techniques to ensure safe handoffs, transitions and discharges! 


Improving healthcare handoffs and transitions can reduce medical errors, improve quality of care, and avoid Medicare reimbursement penalties related to excessive readmissions. There is no question that healthcare handoffs and transitions create temporal windows for error; here are just a few eye-opening statistics:

  • "An estimated 80 percent of serious medical errors involve miscommunication between caregivers when patients are transferred or handed-off." Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare
  • 4,000 handoffs per day can take place in a hospital setting
  • 29 million handoffs per year are estimated to transpire between ED staff and inpatient providers
  • Inadequate handoffs have been implicated as factors in 24% of ED malpractice cases for missed diagnosis

There are many factors that contribute to a successful handoff, but in almost all cases, effective communication is paramount. In response to the growing need for targeted solutions, The Sullivan Group is offering the following CME/ CE activities; each delves into specific threats to successful handoffs, transitions and/or discharges:

  • Handoffs, Transitions & Discharges: Key Moments in Patient Care 
  • 7 Simple Strategies to Reduce Readmissions - coming soon!
  • Communication Strategies to Improve Patient Safety in High-Risk Situations
  • 11 Simple Strategies to Prevent Medication Errors
  • Technology Revolution: Improving Patient Safety, Reducing Liability
  • Essentials of Patient Safety
  • Prevention of Medical Errors

**These courses and others are now a part of TSG's Best Care at Lowest Cost Bundle, a curriculum designed to impact the behaviors and areas of clinical care that most frequently result in readmissions. 


Follow Arnie View our profile on LinkedIn

Website www.drmackles.com
Follow this topic: RSQ_Education
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Henry Lerner, MD

Obtaining Compliance with Participation in Patient Safety Programs


One of the most common questions asked by risk managers is how they can get physicians to participate in new patient safety initiatives. Whether it involves attendance at simulation programs or completing online courses, it often seems that busy physicians in private practice are immune to attempts to engage them in patient safety activities.


While such frustration is understandable, there are means to overcoming physician intransigence. Physicians, like all individuals, respond to incentives and seek to avoid disincentives. The trick is to find the right combination of these that will motivate the physicians in your institution without creating a backlash of resentment.


Here are several tools that can be used to motivate physicians to participate in the patient safety programs that you have worked so hard to provide for them:


  1. Exhortation. Include in your announcement to physicians about new patient safety initiatives a reminder about how such programs will improve the quality of care that they as physicians are able to give their patients. Remind them that their patients trust them to be safe, knowledgeable, and up-to-date care providers. Explain that by participating in your safety programs, they as physicians can fulfill their moral obligation to provide the safest possible care to those patients who have entrusted them with their care. 
  2. Fear. Remind your physicians that when bad outcomes do occur, the care they provide will be reviewed to assess if it complies with the general national standards of care in their specialty. Care that is outdated, inappropriate, or does not follow current best practices will often be prima facie judged evidence of causation. Likewise, physicians are often questioned during malpractice trials regarding their preparation and training for  emergencies or complications. Lack of participation in such preparatory programs may be perceived by the jury as a physician's indifference toward providing the best care for their patients.
  3. Money. Even small amounts of insurance premium credits for participation in patient safety programs go a long way to ensure participation. Even if the physician is not stirred to act by the prospect of saving premium dollars, the practice or office manager certainly will provide needed motivation. A premium surcharge for non-participation is also a possible tactic, but it is one more likely to breed resentment along with disingenuous compliance.
  4. Credentialing. Institutions have every right to make certain that those who practice within their walls are in fact delivering the highest quality medical care and following best practices. Many institutions therefore require participation in ongoing education and patient safety programs for continued departmental and/or hospital privileges.


Risk managers, education leaders and hospital administrators often report being fearful that if they impose too stringent requirements on their physicians, they will move their patients to other institutions. This sort of fear is almost always exaggerated. In the first place, physicians choose to work at a certain hospital for many reasons: convenience, quality of the institution, access to services, and patient demand. It is not easy for physicians to uproot their pattern of practice and move to another institution. Certainly having to take a few courses or participate in learning programs does not rise to the level of inconvenience that would force a physician to change long-standing practice patterns. Moreover, it is often patients that drive the decision as to where they wish to be treated. Such decisions are not always solely in the hands of physicians. Furthermore, careful selection of courses mapped to the core competencies may help physicians meet CME requirements for licensure - this will likely be viewed as a valued service, not an imposition.


Bottom line: sugar always attracts more flies than vinegar. The vital importance of obtaining physician participation in patient safety activities is irrefutable. Tools to motivate physicians are available and compelling. Moreover, physicians by and large understand their obligation to practice the best quality medicine they can, and given programs that are interesting, useful, and time efficient, they will embrace them, especially when sweetened with the sorts of incentives outlined above.


Follow Henry View our profile on LinkedIn

Websites: www.henrylerner.com
Follow this topic: RSQ_OB
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Featured Courses:
  • Neonatal Emergencies 
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage
  • Neonatal Asphyxia
  • Ectopic Pregnancy in Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Pitfalls & Liability Risks in Labor - in development
  • Pitfalls & Liability Risks in Prenatal Care - in development
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Anatomy of a Medical Negligence Lawsuit in Obstetrics & Gynecology 
The Sullivan Group is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Some continuing education activities were approved by the Emergency Nurses Association, an accredited approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

The details of the CME and/or CE for all TSG activities can be found here.

Contact us


Brant Roth
Director of Business Development

Toll free: 1-855-RSQ-INFO (777-4636) 
Phone: 1-630-268-1188  


Karen Ragland
Account Executive

Toll free: 1-855-RSQ-INFO (777-4636) 
Phone: 1-303-652-3311 



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