August 3, 2017

QUESTION:        I know the general rule for preparing minutes is “the less detail the better.”  But, what about when a committee is making an adverse recommendation regarding a physician?  Should we include more detail in that situation?

ANSWER:           Absolutely!  There are always exceptions to the general rule.  If you face a situation where you will be making an adverse recommendation regarding a physician, such as a suspension of privileges, denial of appointment, etc., you should include more detail in the minutes, since including more detail can only help you in those situations!  You should include detail about why the committee reached that decision, although specifics about who said what are not necessary or appropriate.  The objective reasons for the decision should be clearly stated in the minutes, without recording too much detail.  When the MEC makes an adverse recommendation, it will be several months at least before a hearing is held.  When the time for the hearing arrives, it will be helpful to build a solid record for the hearing panel, or a record which can later be used to build a case if litigation follows.

Also, if you have a separate report, for example, from an outside reviewer, that may be something that you want to attach to the minutes.  If you don’t have such a report, then you will obviously want your minutes to be more thorough, in order to reflect the substance of the report.