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Collaboration Formed to Advance Digital Patient Safety

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 21 May 2019
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Image: A new partnership will study patient safety in the digital age (Photo courtesy of 123RF).
Image: A new partnership will study patient safety in the digital age (Photo courtesy of 123RF).
The Doctors Company (Napa, CA, USA), the largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer in the United States, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF; USA) have launched a new partnership that will enable leading UCSF researchers to pursue cutting-edge questions regarding evidence-based patient safety practices, safety and information technology–related policy, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The Doctors Company–UCSF collaboration will explore the intersection of digital medicine and patient safety, maximizing the strengths of both organizations to make substantive advances in patient safety and digital health through novel research and engagement, with the goal of safer care. The Doctors Company, which insures 82,000 physicians in the U.S, has committed to invest USD one million to help UCSF researchers study the causes of medical errors, strategies to mitigate them, and develop new insights that can advance the practice of good medicine.

“We are proud to partner with a world-class institution like UCSF in a mission-based collaboration that has the power to improve medical outcomes in the transformative sphere of digital healthcare,” said Richard Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company.

“The primary goal of the partnership is to discover and disseminate new insights into risk mitigation strategies and patient safety by connecting top-tier UCSF researchers and unique resources and expertise from The Doctors Company,” said Julia Adler-Milstein, PhD, who will co-lead the partnership on behalf of UCSF. “It is a rare and exciting opportunity to have two such organizations come together to jointly advance such an important area.”

Widespread digitization of the healthcare system, including implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), apps, and sensors, offers new ways to study and address traditional patient safety challenges such as diagnostic and medication errors. There are also new challenges that stem directly from these emerging digital capabilities, including the integration of AI tools into frontline care, the mitigation of alert fatigue, sharing data with patients, preserving the physician-patient relationship in an era of increasing technology use, physician burnout related to suboptimal EHR usability and performance, and cybersecurity issues.

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The Doctors Company
University of California, San Francisco

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