Prevention of Medical Errors with Improved Patient-Provider Communication – PSY

Erin Riojas

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Course Credits: 2 NASP CPDs (2 hours)
NASP Domains: Preventative and Responsive Services – Legal, Ethical and Professional Practice

The need to improve healthcare outcomes and control cost in the United States are important healthcare goals in the 21st century. Research and outcome measures support that improving patient-provider communication is an important step toward further achieving this goal. Speech Pathologists and Audiologists are educated and clinically positioned to play an increasingly important role in supporting health care outcomes and cost control as communication is critical in a reduction of medical errors due to poor communication. There is a need for greater focus on advocating for better standards and regulations that support more effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care. SLPs and Audiologists need to advocate for the use of key assistive technologies and evidence-based strategies that help individuals who are communication-vulnerable – those with speech, language, hearing, and cognitive impairments; limited English proficiency; poor health literacy; and/or cultural, sexual identity, or religious differences. There is a need for more active and systematic collaborations among professions representing groups currently at high risk for health disparities. Speech Pathologists and Audiologists are always striving to improve the therapeutic outcomes and quality of life of the patients they serve while effectively reducing the risk of harm to their patients. The goal of this prevention of medical errors course is to reduce medical errors and inform about the role and importance of improving patient-provider communication systematically and how advocating for better standards and regulations supporting more effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care are needed.

Instructor Information

Lisa Rock
Lisa Rock, M.A., CCC-SLP, is an Area Supervisor in the Florida region for EBS Healthcare. She has presented on a number of topics in her past and present supervisory roles on topics relating to Responding to Intervention, Transitioning into the Clinical Fellowship Experience, Providing Educationally Relevant Services, and Making the Language Reading Connection. Her focus on these topics relate to the roles and responsibilities of school-based Speech-Language Pathologists. Her current professional focus is on providing strategies and supports to therapists (Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists) in her region. Ms. Rock has received several Honors of the Association Awards for the services that she has provided. These include work as a Board member of the Florida Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists Association (FLASHA) as Vice President of Governmental Education and her current continued Board membership for the Jacksonville Area Speech Language Pathologists Association (JASPA). Her work on the FLASHA Board resulted in the organization receiving two ASHA grants to support advocacy and next-generation information sharing to membership. Additionally, she has served on a variety of committees for these associations as well as for the Duval County School District. Ms. Rock has developed and presented at many district trainings, a summer institute, online courses, and the FLASHA convention on topics relating to best practice service and support in the school setting. She is a member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), an ASHA affiliate for SIG I – Language Learning and Education, SIG 11 – Administration and Supervision, and SIG 16 – School-based Issues as well as an ASHA ACE Award Recipient and ASHA S.T.E.P. participant. She is currently licensed as a Speech Language Pathologist in the State of Florida.

Financial Disclosure: Other than being paid as an employee of EBS Healthcare, Mrs. Rock has no other relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Non-Financial Disclosure: Mrs. Rock has no other non-financial information to disclose.

Learner Objectives

At the conclusion of this course learners will be able to:

  1. explain the critical needs in healthcare to improve health outcomes and reduce cost Describe the communication factor in patient-provider outcomes and the research evidence that supports it.
  2. list 2-3 ways SLPs and Audiologists can impact a reduction in medical errors for the communication-vulnerable.
  3. list strategies SLPs and Audiologists can collaborate to reduce healthcare disparities Describe ways to reduce future medical errors with increased systematic, evidence-based regulations.
  4. examine actual case studies of communication-vulnerable and SLPs, Audiologists collaboration making a difference.


  • 5 minutes: Introduction, Learner Outcomes
  • 10 minutes: 21st Century critical needs in healthcare to improve Healthcare Outcomes and reduce costs and the SLPs, Audiologists potential role to impact a reduction in medical errors.
  • 15 minutes: The communication factor in the patient-provider outcomes and research evidence that support this importance toward reducing medical errors and increasing positive health outcomes.
  • 15 minutes: Ways SLPs and Audiologists can advocate and positively impact change to support the communication-vulnerable and their access to healthcare.
  • 30 minutes: Strategies for SLPs and Audiologists to more actively and systematically collaborate to reduce healthcare disparities.
  • 15 minutes: Projection of future reduction in medical errors with new standards and regulation of care in place supporting more effective communication, cultural competence, and patient- and family-centered care.
  • 5 minutes: Improving Patient-Provider Communication: Joint Commission Standards and Federal Laws video and brief discussion
  • 5 minutes: How Effective Healthcare Communication Contributes to Health Equity video and discussion
  • 15 minutes: Patient Provider Communication – key strategies
  • 5 minutes: Summary and Resource Review