Day Two - Patient Focus | Working Together to Improve Diagnosis Virtual Conference

May 26, 2021

Conference Overview

This conference, a three half-day virtual conference, will highlight the alarming impact diagnostic error has on patients or residents, care teams and organizations. It will energize teams to identify opportunities for reducing diagnostic error in their own organization by identifying best practices and successes from leading experts. Additionally, it will highlight the importance of communication when a harm event does occur. Participants will have the opportunity to join a new collaborative dedicated to improving the diagnostic process; a year-long group whose focus will be on reduction in patient harm and the subsequent financial burdens, while supporting the implementation of new strategies and shared experiences.

Target Audience

C-Suite, physicians, administrators, patient safety/risk personnel, system engineers, quality leaders and practice leaders from hospitals, clinics, senior living and long-term care organizations

Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/26/2021 - 8:30am CDT
Event ends: 
05/26/2021 - 12:00pm CDT

Day Two

8:30 – 9:30 AM  |  KEYNOTE: The Power of Partnership:  How Patients Can - and Do - Partner to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine

Suzanne Schrandt, Senior Engagement Advisor, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, Evanston, IL

This session will describe current practices in patient engagement to improve diagnosis in medicine.  Patients, particularly those who have been affected by a diagnostic error, have a critical role to play in eliminating diagnostic error through research, policy, patient education and quality improvement.  Drawing from their lived experience, patient partners can provide insights that no one else in the healthcare ecosystem can.  Appropriately involving and facilitating the involvement of patient partners can yield important gains in this critical work.

  • Describe the concept of patient engagement and how patients are/have been involved as partners in various facets of the healthcare ecosystem.
  • Give tangible examples of the impact patient partners have had on changing the diagnostic error landscape in research, policy and care delivery.
  • Identify tips and tools available, including those that SIDM offers, for learners to use as they work to engineer patient engagement solutions in their work.

9:45 - 10:45 AM  |  CANDOR: Normalizing Compassionate Honesty after Unexpected Harm

Timothy McDonald, MD, JD, Chief Patient Safety and Risk Officer, FLDatix, Chicago, IL Professor of Law, Loyola University and Bruce Lambert, PhD, Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Director, Center for Communication and Health, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Candor is a powerful tool that works to maintain open and honest communication with patients and families after an unintended harm event occurs. During this highly experiential session, attendees will learn about the evolution of approaches to the response to patient harm. Empathic and honest communication including the disclosure of mistakes or errors if they have occurred will be discussed. Attendees will also gain a clearer understanding of issues surrounding the emotional angst for members of the care team.

  • Outline ways to coach a healthcare team through the critical phases of the open communication process.
  • Discuss how to provide initial emotional first aid to clinicians following an adverse medical event.
  • Develop a comprehensive approach to patient harm that includes care for the caregiver.
  • Describe the approach to determining appropriateness of care following patient harm events.
  • Describe the comprehensive, principled and systematic approach to harm from event through resolution.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM  |  Panel Discussion: Evolution of Approaches to Patient Harm HEAL/CANDOR

Moderator: Tom Evans, President and CEO, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, Des Moines, IA

Panelists: Timothy McDonald, MD, JD, Chief Patient Safety and Risk Officer, RLDatix, Chicago, IL, Professor of Law, Loyola University, Chicago, IL; Bruce Lambert, PhD, Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Director, Center for Communication and Health, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; Shelly Davis, JD, BSN, Director of Early Intervention, Constellation, Minneapolis, MN and Laurie Drill-Mellum, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, Constellation, Minneapolis, MN

This panel discussion will focus on the evolution of approaches to the response to patient harm. Honest communication including the disclosure of mistakes or errors if they have occurred and the support that clinicians and patients need after a diagnostic error leads to a harm event will be discussed. Panel members will bring patient and clinician perspectives after a diagnostic error leads to a harm event. They will also share what brought them to the work on CRP programs and consider ways to move forward after a harm event.

  • Discuss what brought the panel members to work on CRP programs.
  • Describe how this work is making a difference for patients, residents, their families, care teams and organizations.

Day Two Speakers

Shelly Davis, JD, BSN

Shelly Davis is director of early intervention at Constellation. In this role, she works with insureds when unexpected outcomes occur. Early intervention facilitates trust and good will between providers and their patients. Before obtaining her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, Davis worked as a registered nurse throughout Chicago  and within the Mayo Clinic system. Her past practice as a medical malpractice lawyer and nurse gives her a unique perspective when handling claims and lawsuits. She appreciates the risks inherent in providing health care. She has represented healthcare providers and facilities in medical negligence claims, during pre-litigation claims and during investigations of unexpected outcomes in health care. She is a frequent lecturer on the topics of medical malpractice, medical negligence claims and risks associated with being a healthcare provider.

Laurie Drill-Mellum, MD, MPH

Dr. Laurie Drill-Mellum brings more than 30 years as a practicing physician to help guide Constellation’s work of supporting healthcare organizations in order to free physicians and other clinicians to focus on their mission: to help, to heal and to serve. An MD with a master’s degree in public health, she brings a physician’s perspective as well as that of patients and family members in Constellation’s efforts to promote patient safety and mitigate risk. Dr. Drill-Mellum’s passion for, and background in, the studies of culture, behavior, leadership and integrative medicine fuel her commitment and drive in serving the mission of Constellation. She provides insights to health practitioners’ perspectives, challenges and lives and is a fierce advocate for the wellbeing of those practicing medicine on the front lines of care and the critical importance of supporting them when they’ve been involved in a patient-harm event. Preventing these events and mitigating harm once they occur is the core of her dedication to her work.

Tom Evans, MD, FAAFP

Dr. Tom Evans is president and CEO of the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative. He practiced family medicine for 13 years and served as chief medical officer for UnityPoint Health. Dr. Evans has served on the board for the National Patient Safety Foundation and on the delegations for both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He served as president of both the Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Evans is a faculty member with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the College of Medicine at Des Moines University and the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Bruce Lambert, PhD

Bruce Lambert received his doctorate in speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies and director of the Center for Communication and Health at Northwestern University. His research focuses on health communication, patient safety and medical liability reform. Lambert is the principal investigator on a five-year grant, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to study techniques for preventing wrong-drug and wrong-patient errors. He is president of BLL Consulting and Pharm IR, firms that solve problems involving health, communication and technology. He blogs about communication at

Timothy McDonald, MD, JD

Dr. Timothy McDonald is chief patient safety and risk officer at RLDatix and professor of law at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. McDonald is a physician-attorney whose research has focused on the principled approach to patient harm with an emphasis on reporting of patient safety events, the use of simulation and human factors analysis and providing open and honest communication following harm events. His federally funded research has focused on these domains and their impact on improving the quality of care while mitigating medical liability and other legal-related issues.

Suzanne Schrandt

Suzanne Schrandt is a patient and patient engagement advocate with a health and disability law and policy background. She serves as the senior patient engagement advisor to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), where she helps incorporate patient insights and voices to fuel improvements in the diagnostic process. Schrandt previously served as the director of patient engagement at the Arthritis Foundation, where she led the Foundation’s Patient Engagement strategy and as the deputy director of patient engagement for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Schrandt’s background includes work in bioethics, genetic discrimination and chronic disease self-management, as well as a long history in patient-led clinical training aimed at increasing early diagnosis and appropriate, patient centered management of chronic disease. Schrandt’s passion for patient engagement began in large part from her own experience, having been diagnosed with polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis as a teenager. Schrandt received her law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Iowa Nursing Contact Hours

3.0 nursing contact hours will be awarded on May 26 for this Virtual Conference by IHA, Iowa Board of Nursing Provider No. 4. Iowa nursing contact hours will not be issued unless your Iowa license number was provided at registration. For nursing contact hours to be offered, you must log in individually, your webinar sign-in and sign-out times will be verified. Partial credit for individual sessions will not be granted.

Certificate of Attendance

Continuing Education Certificates for proof of attendance will be available for completion of the conference. Some national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations will grant continuing education credits for attendance when you submit the conference agenda and your certificate of attendance. IHC recommends keeping a copy of the conference brochure and that you contact your own board or certification organization to find out what is required.

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