February 8, 2024

This question was raised by a registrant at our Complete Course for Medical Staff Leaders last week – should we notify Medical Staff members immediately, as soon as a case “falls out” in our peer review process?

No!  There are so many different indicators that hospitals track – some required by Medicare, some by accreditation standards, some based upon specialty-specific evidence-based medicine – and the mere fact that a case “tripped” one of these many indicators does not mean that there are specific concerns that need to be addressed.  We hear that Medical Staff members already tend to view the peer review process as something that can feel more punitive than performance improvement based, and if we start sending letters out to individuals the minute that a case has met a specific indicator, we risk making that perception even worse.  Professional practice evaluation/peer review policies should clearly state that cases that make their way into the process can be closed at the earliest, most initial stage of review, and that practitioners need to be notified of cases only once questions or concerns about the care provided by the practitioner have been identified.

If you have a quick question about this, e-mail LeeAnne Mitchell at LMitchell@hortyspringer.com.