Document Type : Perspective
Law School, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
Physicians working in hospitals face challenges when it comes to understanding and meeting the medical, legal, and ethical subjects outlined in the hospital bylaws. Hospital staff physicians and the hospital administration both aspire for high quality medical care and the assurance of patient safety. Unfortunately, when quality concerns surface, there can be reasonable differences of opinion as to whether a physician’s practice pattern met the accepted threshold of the standard of care. Such differences of opinion can lead to conflict that fuels a physician review. One complication for physicians is that many of the issues that surface at peer reviews are veiled in legal concepts and underpinnings for which physicians lack education, training, and familiarity. It would be prudent for all physicians working in hospitals to become familiar with the hospital bylaws and regulations. Physicians must take a leadership role in assuring fair and equitable peer review.
- Vyas D, Hozain AE. Clinical peer review in the United States: history, legal development and subsequent abuse. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(21):6357-6363. doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i21.6357.
- Newton GE. Maintaining the balance: reconciling the social and judicial costs of medical peer review protection. Ala Law Rev. 2001;52(2):723-742.
- Hicks CW, Makary MA. A prophet to modern medicine: Ernest Amory Codman. BMJ. 2013;347:f7368. doi:10.1136/bmj.f7368.
- To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Editors Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS, editors. Source Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000.
- Brand RA. Ernest amory codman, MD, 1869-1940. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2009;467(11):2763-2765. doi:10.1007/s11999-009-1047-8.
- Goldman RL. The reliability of peer assessments of quality of care. JAMA. 1992;267(7):958-960. doi:10.1001/jama.267.7.958.
- Edwards MT, Benjamin EM. The process of peer review in US hospitals. J Clin Outcomes Manag. 2009;16(10):461-467.
- Scheutzow SO. State medical peer review: high cost but no benefit--is it time for a change? Am J Law Med. 1999;25(1):7- 60.
- Kelly JP. Peer review immunity after Patrick v. Burget. Healthspan. 1988;5(6):2-5.
- US Supreme Court. Certiorari to the United States Court of appeals for the ninth circuit; 1988.
- Kadar N. How courts are protecting unjustified peer review actions against physicians by hospitals. J Am Phys Surg. 2011;16:17-24.
- Townend DW. Hospital peer review is a kangaroo court. Med Econ. 2000;77(3):133-136, 141.
- Huntoon LR. Editorial: Sham Peer Review and the Courts. J Am Phys Surg. 2006;11(1):4-5.
- Arkansas Code Title 20 - 9 -1304 (h). Discussion of the right to legal counsel for the individual subject of peer review, as called under the Health Quality Improvement Act, c.(3) (d)(i).
- Yaqub v Salinas Memorial Healthcare System, 122 Cal. App. 4th 474 (2004) (Cal. Ct. App. 2004).
- Rabelo v Nasif and Milford Regional Hospital. Worcester Superior Court Civil Action No. 2011 (2013).
- Islami v Covenant Medical Center, Inc. 822 F. Supp. 1361, 1370 (N.D. Iowa 1992).
- Edwards MT. Clinical peer review program self-evaluation for US hospitals. Am J Med Qual. 2010;25(6):474-480. doi:10.1177/1062860610371224.
- Agee C. Improving the peer review process: develop a professional review committee for better and quicker results. Healthc Exec. 2007;22(3):72-73.