PRMS Helps Future Psychiatrists Understand Risks

PRMS Helps Future Psychiatrists Understand Risks Down the Road

Psychiatry is one of the most rewarding fields in medicine, but psychiatrists face a myriad of liability risks, especially relating to issues such as telepsychiatry, suicidal patients, medication issues, use of social media, electronic health records and more. Unfortunately, risk management strategies related to these topics are not often formally addressed during residency training.

While the potential for liability is one of the more stressful aspects of today’s psychiatric practice, psychiatrists in training can learn ways to improve patient safety and steer clear of malpractice claims by attending the PRMS Residents’ Education Program (PREP®®), a program which offers a critical overview of risk management practices.

PRMS offers PREP®®® free of charge to groups of residents and fellows. Just what makes the program so unique? As a leader in proactive risk management, PRMS has extensive experience handling claims against psychiatrists and fielding calls on the risk management helpline. That unique body of knowledge can go a long way to help our insured clients lessen the risk of having an adverse patient outcome or being sued.

During the past 30 years, PRMS has managed more lawsuits, claims and potential claims against psychiatrists than any other professional liability insurance program in the United States. According to the most recent data from PRMS claims on lawsuits closed in 2015, incorrect treatment was the most identifiable cause of loss for psychiatrists (35% of cases), followed by medication issues (19%) and suicide/attempted suicide (15%).

Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD, states, “The PREP®®® program was developed to meet needs expressed by residency training directors. PRMS has provided the well-received PREP®® courses to residency and fellowship programs across the country for 15 years, and our staff is often asked back yearly by training directors and attendees. PREP® program content supports ACGME core competencies relating specifically to system-based practice and interpersonal and communication skills.”

PRMS recognizes that the job of psychiatrists and these emerging practitioners could not be more important. Most Americans say untreated mental health has a significant impact on the United States economy, according to a poll released by the American Psychiatric Association in May. The poll also found that nearly one in five respondents has personally sought care from a mental health professional, and three in 10 know a family member who has sought care.

To provide insight into the intersection of psychiatry and the law, PREP®® faculty include three seasoned PRMS risk managers: Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD, Vice President of Risk Management; David Cash, JD, LLM, Assistant Vice President of Risk Management; and Ann McNary, JD, Senior Risk Manager.

PREP® is designed to run about 90 minutes, but its format is flexible and can be modified to suit various timeframes and audience sizes. It can be presented as a stand-alone seminar or Grand Rounds.

Interested in incorporating PREP®® courses in your residency training programs? To learn more or to schedule your free PREP®® session, call Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD at (703) 907-3895 or email

Categories: PRMS Blog

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