Michigan State University has expanded its risk management program after the arrest and conviction of Larry Nassar, a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor and osteopathic physician at the university, for the sexual abuse of minor patients.
MSU has been upfront about its improvements, issuing public statements about its progress, but declined interview requests from Healthcare Risk Management.
MSU recently signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to make further improvements. The university has made these changes:
- In April 2017, the university established a policy requiring chaperones for “sensitive treatments and when minors are involved.” (The new MSU chaperone policy is available online at: https://bit.ly/2kubrUX.)
- MSU developed a standardized consent-to-treat form that acknowledges the chaperone policy and other permissions. (The form is available online at: https://bit.ly/2lGt8Rh.)
- MSU expanded the role of the risk manager. Based on recommendations from an independent review conducted by Willis Towers Watson, the university created new committees, including the Steering Performance Committee, Wellness and Patient Experience Committee, Quality and Patient Safety Committee, and Credentialing Certification Committee. (The Willis Towers Watson report on improving patient safety at MSU is available online at: https://bit.ly/2jZG8B6.)
- Health clinics at MSU implemented a triage protocol to review all allegations of inappropriate interactions between providers and patients or students. A multidisciplinary team reviews allegations. If there is any concern, the university immediately removes the provider from patient contact while investigating.
MSU plans to assign a new “civil rights specialist” to all buildings containing health clinics. This person will serve as a first point of contact for complaints, as well as a monitor of policy compliance.