September’s Grand Rounds: Complaints About the Quality of Care in Your Hospital by Members of the Medical Staff: Is It a Matter of “Free Speech”?

September 6, 2022 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (ET)

“Free speech” has been a hot topic in the press recently. Suspensions and revocations of Twitter accounts have been met with claims of “that violates my freedom of speech!” The ill-fated attempt by Elon Musk to buy Twitter was grounded in his belief “in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe.” But, the First Amendment only protects speech from government censorship. Moreover, the right to free speech under the First Amendment is not absolute. Everyone is familiar with the prohibition on shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, but what about speech that involves allegations about the quality of care in the hospital lodged by members of the Medical Staff?  What restrictions, if any, can you place on such speech? A well-functioning performance improvement process relies on the submission of concerns about quality in the hospital. Accordingly, hospitals often encourage the raising of these concerns so they can be addressed.  However, hospitals are generally permitted to require the registering of quality complaints through appropriate channels.

During this audio conference, Charles Chulack & Hala Mouzaffar will discuss these issues and more, including state protections for whistleblowers, disruptive behavior disguised as quality complaints, and developing a well-functioning process for receiving and reviewing concerns about patient safety in your hospital.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how federal and state legal protections for speech apply to Medical Staff members in a hospital setting.
  • Comprehend the differences between legitimate complaints about the quality of care in the hospital and disruptive behavior.
  • Articulate the importance of Medical Staff members submitting reports regarding patient safety and quality in the Hospital through appropriate channels, such as the professional practice evaluation process.

Education Credit

Instructions on how to obtain your Continuing Education certificate for audio conferences will be e-mailed to the contact person for your organization at the conclusion of this audio conference.

Category 1 CME

Joint Provider Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and HortySpringer Seminars.  The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.  The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

NAMSS Continuing Education Credit

This course has been approved for National Association of Medical Staff Services (NAMSS) continuing education credit and NAMSS hereby awards 1.0 NAMSS continuing education credits for participation in this activity.  Accreditation of this educational content in no way implies endorsement or sponsorship by NAMSS.

About Grand Rounds

Designed for even the busiest hospital and medical staff leaders, registration for the year-long series is a quick and inexpensive way for Medical Staff Officers, members of the Medical Executive Committee, Department Chairs, Chairs of the Credentials and Peer Review Committees, and the Chairs of other key Medical Staff committees to have access to the most up-to-date health care information at their fingertips while obtaining valuable CME credits as well.

  • The audio conference series consists of twelve audio conferences spread over the course of the year (one AC/month)
  • Each audio conference is offered the first Tuesday of each month from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
  • Registration includes an MP3 containing the audio conference at no additional charge following each conference.
  • CME credit issued for live conference participation only.

HortySpringer Audio Conference Disclaimer

The information presented during an audio conference and any supplementary materials provided to registrants are intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing contained therein is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice for specific cases or circumstances.

No one should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented during an audio conference without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer practicing as permitted by applicable laws, regulations or rules of professional conduct. No attorney-client relationship is formed by registration for an audio conference or the use of the supplementary materials.


PLEASE NOTE: To assist your staff and medical professionals who work remotely, we will waive the extra line fee for up to 3 additional lines so they are able to listen from their home or office. 

Audio Conferences/Grand Rounds Registration: $250 and includes:

      • 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit*
      • 1.0 NAMSS continuing education credit*
      • One MP3 recording to share with your staff throughout the year.
      • Three phones lines. You may purchase additional lines for $50/line, per audio conference.

Can’t make the live audio conference? No problem! We offer single MP3 recordings for $250/each (Separate MP3 purchase does not qualify for CME credits. CMEs will only be given for live participation the day of the AC).

*Not all audio conferences will be approved for continuing medical education credits.

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