William O. Cooper, MD, MPH, is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Pediatrics and Health Policy, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, and Director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.
We discuss the Co-worker Observation Reporting System (CORS) and Patient Advocacy Response System (PARS), which use co-worker and patient unsolicited complaints to give physicians feedback. It turns out that a few outlying physicians get the bulk of the complaints, and these physicians also account for a large percentage of complications and malpractice lawsuits. They have a system for making sure the physicians are getting this feedback, and learn about it in a constructive way such that most of them stop being those outliers, or the toxic systems that caused them to be such outliers are addressed. If you were being a jerk to your patients or your staff, would you know it? Would you know if you were the outlier? Would you course correct?
Dr. Cooper is an internationally recognized expert in medication safety in children. The results of his research, published in journals including The New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, have led to changes in policy for prescription drugs at the US Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and the European Union and have influenced prescribing practices for multiple specialties, including pediatricians, obstetricians, and psychiatrists.
He has served as a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee and recently provided testimony to the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labors, and Pensions on the use of psychotropic medications in children.
Dr. Cooper received an M.D. degree from Vanderbilt, completed his pediatrics residency at the University of Cincinnati and served as a pediatrics chief resident and then completed his M.P.H. at Vanderbilt as a fellow in Academic General Pediatrics, where he stayed on as faculty. Dr. Cooper has directed an active research program in pediatric pharmacoepidemiology funded by NIH, AHRQ, FDA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2008, Dr. Cooper founded the Department of Pediatrics Office for Faculty Development, where he leads efforts to recruit and retain faculty, address issues of diversity, and foster skills development of faculty related to academic success.
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