Published 9/1/2007
Murray Goodman, MD

Risk management Web site could lower your liability premiums

In today’s world, orthopaedic surgeons are frequently the targets of medical liability lawsuits. Realizing this, many medical liability insurance carriers now offer a premium discount to those physicians who make an effort to limit their exposure by following simple risk management guidelines or by becoming familiar with basic preventive measures.

The AAOS Medical Liability Committee has developed a Web page on the Orthopaedic Knowledge Online (OKO) Web site to serve as a resource for all the Academy’s risk management programs that qualify for continuing medical education (CME) credits. You can access the site at www5.aaos.org/oko/rm.cfm or search “Risk Management CME” on the AAOS homepage, www.aaos.org/now.

The dedicated Web page makes it easy for you to access materials and learn more about recommended practices. Because many states require physicians to complete a number of hours of CME devoted to risk management, ethics, patient safety, or error prevention before renewing their medical licenses, this Web site provides that information specifically in an orthopaedic context. Finally, some medical liability insurance carriers will provide a premium discount for completion of CME in risk management or communications. Check with your insurance carrier to see if you could qualify.

Most of the courses listed are free to AAOS fellows as a member benefit. If you need additional CME hours on short notice in preparation for license renewal deadlines, you can get it here “instantly.”

More than 20 hours of CME is currently available on the Web site, mostly in the form of slide shows or computer-based learning programs (See Table 1).

Topics under development include the prevention and diagnosis of compartment syndrome and evidence-based medicine for the practicing orthopaedic surgeon. A series of video vignettes covering ethical issues in orthopaedic surgery will also be available in the near future.

Murray Goodman, MD, is a member of the Medical Liability Committee. Visit the Risk Management Continuing Medical Education Web site on Orthopaedics Knowledge Online, www.aaos.org/oko.