NSO Workshop

TAANA 2019 Annual Conference

August 8 – 10, 2019
Crowne Plaza Northstar
Minneapolis, Minnesota

(All ce/cle’s are pending; schedule is subject to change)

Time Thursday, August 8 Room
8:30am – 12noon NSO Workshop:

Nurses and the Non-Adherent Patient: Protecting Yourself from Liability

Cost & Registration:

$50.00 per person.


Patient non-adherence can come in many forms: unwillingness to follow a course of therapy, repeated missed appointments, rejecting treatment recommendations, reluctance to take medications, refusal to provide information or chronic late payments. If left unchecked, such conduct may result in litigation. The objective of this presentation is to discuss the legal elements and concept of contributory negligence, and empower nurses with strategies to not only recognize these patient behaviors but also take steps to reduce the likelihood of malpractice claims. Using selected claim scenarios, NPs, RNs and LPNs/LVNs can examine their own current risk control practices in relation to the claims and losses experienced by their peers.


  1. Define legal elements and concept of contributory negligence (TAANA).Identify a nurse’s legal obligation and level of documentation necessary when dealing with this type of patient (TAANA).
  2. Understand the factors that determine patient adherence (NSO).
  3. Recognize the role that the patient, external factors and providers play in patient adherence (NSO).
  4. Identify leading risk management techniques that NPs, RNs, LPNs/LVNs, and NPs can incorporate into their practice to help promote patient adherence (NSO).

Course Outline:

  1. Elements and concept of contributory negligence (60 minutes)
    • Malpractice Lawsuits
    • Documentation Do’s and Don’t’s
  2. Malpractice Risks (60 minutes)
    • Legal Cases Highlighting Non-Adherent patients and outcomes
    • Determinants of Patient Adherence
    • Claim Metrics for malpractice lawsuits against nurses
  3. Risk reduction recommendations (45 minutes)
    • Communication as a tool to reduce risks
    • Special considerations for managing angry patients, minors, and when to terminate a patient
    • Self-assessment checklist
  4. Q&A (15 minutes)
Great Lakes AC

Melanie Balestra, JD, NP, MN, Melanie is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and an attorney with her own law practice in Irvine, California in which she focuses on legal and business issues that affect physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers as well as representing them before their respective Boards. This includes advising health care providers on the legal aspects of starting their own practice, no matter what the specialty area. She has set up businesses for over 250 RNs and NPs and lectures nationally on this subject. She writes articles for Journal for Nurse Practitioners, The Nurse Practitioner and Medscape. She is counsel for the California Association for Nurse Practitioners and writes a quarterly legal column in their newsletter, the Connection. She is Past President of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys, Past President of the American College of Nurse Practitioners, and Past President of the California Coalition of Nurse Practitioners. She received Outstanding Section Member Award for Health Law, Legislations and Compliance from the American Association of Nurse Attorneys in 2016.She continues to practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic.

Jennifer Flynn, CPHRM, is Risk Manager for Nurses Service Organization in the Healthcare Division of Aon’s Affinity Insurance Services, Inc. Specializing in risk management and having worked in the health care insurance business for over 17 years, Jennifer is dedicated to educating nurses and health care professionals on professional liability risks and offers strategies to mitigate those risks. Working at NSO, she was instrumental in bringing the most recent health care claim reports to the health care community; created self-assessment tools, website content, and other materials on health care risk management issues. She has presented at professional organization meetings on health care risk management and other insurance related topics. Jennifer is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management and is a licensed Property & Casualty agent. She earned a BA in Psychology from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania.

Diane Knoblauch, JD, MSN, RN, is a nurse-attorney dual licensed as a nurse and an attorney in Ohio and Michigan. She began her nursing career as a diploma nurse in 1976, obtained her BSN from Madonna University, her MSN from Wayne State University in 1980 with a major in primary care and was certified as an adult nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She was the first nurse practitioner to be granted hospital practice privileges by the hospital and medical staff at a small hospital in Southeast Michigan in 1980. From 1981 to 1991 her clinical practice focus was primary care and occupational health, which served as a catalyst for her interest in the law. Her last clinical practice as a nurse practitioner in occupational health was in 1991 at the University Michigan Medical Center. While attending law school she was an assistant professor of nursing at Medical College of Ohio (now University of Toledo) in the undergraduate and graduate programs, teaching in the area of medical-surgical nursing. While there she participated in developing the Nurse Practitioner program and was one of the first two faculty in that program. Throughout her foray through academe she continued to work as a unit-based temp in the Surgical ICU at the University of Michigan. Ms. Knoblauch began practicing as an attorney in Toledo, Ohio in 1994 and in Michigan in 2004. In addition to her busy law practice, focusing on estate and trust planning, elder law, nursing and farming, she continues to work at the University of Michigan in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and provides lectures and seminars on legal and ethical issues in nursing. She has offices in Toledo, Ohio and Blissfield, MI. Ms. Knoblauch represents nurses before the boards of nursing in Michigan and Ohio and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys.

Lynn Pierce, RN, BSN, CPHRM, is a Risk Control Director at CNA Healthcare Risk Control. Prior to joining CNA, she worked in such clinical settings as emergency, surgical and cardiac critical care, and cardiac and orthopedic rehabilitation services. She has served as a director of risk management in acute care hospitals and integrated health care systems and has held leadership positions in risk management, quality, HIPAA privacy, environmental and patient safety, case management, corporate compliance, Workers’ Compensation and infection control. In 2002, she became a certified legal nurse consultant, achieved the LEAN Green Belt Certification and a certified Workers’ Compensation professional in Georgia. She earned her associate degree in nursing from Dalton College in Dalton, Georgia and a BSN from the State University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia and is currently attending Spring Arbor University with plans to graduate in May 2019 with a Masters in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Cost & Registration: $50 per person