9 Habits of Safe and Effective Medical Practices

Course Description:

Observation and research involving a wide range of medical practices has identified that the safest and most effective practices regularly achieve the following goals:

  • Patients and families feel very satisfied with their experience.
  • The practice runs efficiently and on time.
  • Mutually agreed upon treatment plans are arrived at and adhered to.
  • The risk of oversight or error causing patient harm is sharply reduced.
  • Physicians and staff feel motivated to create and maintain a rewarding and effective team.


The 2015 Risk Management Seminar is specifically designed for physicians and their staff to attend together.  In this program we will describe the nine habits we see among physicians and their staff that reliably contribute to achieving these goals.  Through lecture, accompanied by video scenes following a patient visit from check in to check out, we will describe these attitudes and behaviors, why they are important, demonstrate them in a patient visit, and expand and apply them to primary care, specialty and surgical practices.



Upon completion of this program, attendees should be able to:

  1. Describe the routines and behaviors that occur in effective healthcare teams.
  2. Demonstrate these routines and behaviors in common practice situations.
  3. Extend the habits to apply to other practice situations in the office, at the hospital and/or in other specialty practices.


Speaker: Dan O’Connell, PhD 

Dr. Dan O’Connell is a clinical psychologist who lives in Seattle, Washington. Over the last 35 years, Dr. O’Connell has worked as an educator, consultant, clinician, department chair and executive director in medical, behavioral health and educational settings. He is a consultant to the Institute for Healthcare Communication and serves on the faculty of the Foundation for Medical Excellence. He works with providers at the University of Washington and UCLA Schools of Medicine and maintains a coaching and consulting practice working primarily with healthcare organizations and individual providers on all aspects of the psychology of medicine, leadership in healthcare settings and professional interactions. Dr. O'Connell has led more than 600 workshops on various topics in the psychology of relationships and communication in healthcare.


Download PDF