There are times that every hospital or group practice has a need to obtain an outside, unbiased review of the care provided to patients by its physicians. Sometimes the need is driven by a lack of physicians of the same specialty or at other times there is a concern about the appearance of fairness or reviews being interpreted as having anti-competitive motives.
The WSMA Peer Review Service can provide objective peer review of the work, training and experience of one or more members of an individual hospital medical staff. Our peer review consultants are selected according to specialty, type of practice and location. Our consultation adds to the formal medical staff processes that are mandated by federal or Washington state law in the areas of medical staff organization and administration.
With nearly 11,000 physician and physician assistant members in almost every specialty and practice setting, the WSMA has the resources to match a hospital or clinic in need of external peer review with a well-qualified, independent reviewer. Physicians, patients and the requesting institution all benefit from the qualified neutral reviewers the WSMA can provide.
Learn more about the WSMA Peer Review Service below. Peer review consultations are provided only upon the written request of the hospital and medical staff. For more information about engaging in the valuable service, contact Denny Maher, JD, MD, director of legal affairs at 206.956.3640 / 800.552.0612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on medical staff peer review, visit our Peer Review and Medical Staff page under Resources.
Learn more about when external peer review may be appropriate and how our peer review service works.
External peer review may be appropriate when colleagues may be economic competitors, situations are emotionally charged, or if a hospital or clinic does not have a physician with similar training to perform the review. For example, a rural hospital may have only one or two surgeons in a specialty; having an economic competitor review a surgeon’s cases could raise concerns about conflicts of interest. Or a clinic, particularly in a rural area, may have only one physician in a medical specialty, with no other physician adequately trained to review the work of the specialist. The WSMA Peer Review Service can help in these situations, and others, by providing a high-quality, neutral physician in the appropriate specialty to review the records of the affected physician.
The WSMA has designed its peer review service so that the independent review of medical records takes place confidentially, and the information provided by the reviewer remains confidential as part of the requesting institution’s Coordinated Quality Improvement Program (CQIP). Each requesting hospital or clinic provides the WSMA reviewer with a list of questions to be answered about each medical record submitted for review.
The reviewer will answer specific questions and provide additional comments as indicated. The WSMA then sends the reviewer’s information directly to a member of the institution’s CQIP, maintaining confidentiality of the analysis. The requesting institution will then use that information during its internal peer review process.
While the need for this service may be infrequent, its availability is an essential part of WSMA’s service to its members.