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All hospitals should require drug, alcohol tests for physicians
Date:5/7/2013

ries.

  • A program of random alcohol-drug testing.

  • A policy for routine drug-alcohol testing for all physicians involved with a sentinel event leading to patient death.

  • Establishment of testing standards by a national hospital regulatory or accrediting body. The steps could be limited to hospitals and their affiliated physicians at this time, since hospitals have the infrastructure to conduct adverse event analysis and drug testing, note the authors. Hospitals also have the governing bylaws to guide physician conduct and an existing national accrediting body, The Joint Commission, the authors add.

    In cases in which a physician is found to be impaired, a hospital could "suspend or revoke privileges and, in some cases, report this to the state licensing board," the authors write. Impaired physicians would undergo treatment and routine monitoring as a condition for continued licensure and hospital privileges.

    "Patients and their family members have a right to be protected from impaired physicians," argue the authors in the JAMA commentary. "In other high-risk industries, this right is supported by regulations and surveillance. Shouldn't medicine be the same? A robust system to identify impaired physicians may enhance the professionalism that peer review seeks to protect."


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  • Contact: Mark Guidera
    mguider1@jhmi.edu
    443-898-2320
    Johns Hopkins Medicine
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2

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