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Earning Credit While Reducing Risk


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Earning Credit While Reducing Risk

By Jock Hoffman and Jane Gagne, CRICO

Related to: Primary Care, Surgery

Myth or reality?

Patients on the medicine service experience fewer adverse events than those on the surgical service.

If you chose myth, you are correct. Medical and surgical patients experience a nearly equal number of adverse events.

Now consider this. A 29-year-old woman presents to your office with a complaint of a new palpable mass.

What is your recommended course of action?

  1. Return after two menstrual cycles
  2. Diagnostic mammogram
  3. Diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound
  4. Ultrasound

The correct course of action is d. Ultrasound.

A 29-year-old woman should have a diagnostic ultrasound. If the ultrasound were found to be abnormal or inconclusive, a diagnostic mammogram would be at the discretion of the radiologist. If the woman were older than 30, a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound would be ordered to determine whether there were any specific findings.


Almost since its inception in 1976, CRICO has promoted the notion that patient safety needs to be a prominent component of physicians’ continuing medical education. This is why we are proud to be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The above sample reflects a large inventory of continuing medical education, or CME, offered by CRICO.

In Massachusetts, CRICO’s philosophy is reinforced by the Board of Registration in Medicine’s (BORIM) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. Formerly known as CME, the BORIM dictates specific categories of education, including Risk Management Study.

Risk Management Study must include instruction in medical malpractice such as patient safety and loss prevention. Activities that meet these criteria may include courses in quality assurance, bioethics, end of life care studies, opioid and pain management, as well as non-economic aspects of practice management. All of CRICO’s CME activities are designed to be suitable for risk management study.

We take pride in our network of Harvard experts that work side-by-side with us to develop our activities in an effort to decrease patient harm. A flexible, learner-centric design ensures that our courses satisfy the needs of clinicians with differing roles and levels of expertise.

October 16, 2012
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