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AllMed Survey of Hospital Quality Managers Shows Much Room for Improvement in Peer Review
Date:3/19/2008

Physician evaluations, processes and operations remain ill defined

PORTLAND, Ore., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- AllMed Healthcare Management announced the results of a survey that it recently completed on the subject of hospital peer review. Ninety-five medical staff leaders, quality assurance and risk managers from leading hospitals across the U.S. completed AllMed's Peer Review Scorecard.

"The survey results highlight areas for improvement in the way hospitals conduct peer review," said Skip Freedman, executive medical director at AllMed. "On the positive side, the survey indicates that medical staff and administrative leadership are visibly committed to continuous quality improvement, by-laws provide clear direction on peer review and hospitals are putting well-defined peer review processes into place. However, there are still many areas for improvement."

The Peer Review Scorecard is a self-assessment tool and survey that covers four broad areas that influence hospital peer review: culture, operations, practitioner evaluations and Joint Commission standards.

When questioned about culture, just 46.5 percent of the respondents said their practitioners know how they contribute to the quality of patient care. Slightly over 38 percent of them said that physicians view peer review as fair and objective. Only 26 percent agreed that their peer review process was proactive rather than reactive.

With regard to peer review operations, respondents were asked whether peer reviews were completed within 30 days after initiation and over 82 percent said they were not.

But, it was the area of practitioner evaluations that took some of the hardest hits by survey respondents. Sixty-nine percent indicate their medical staff falls short in investigating all performance deviations and taking action. Two-thirds believed their peer review process had inconsistently applied triggers for evaluations. Fifty-five percent noted that their hospitals had no clearly defined triggers to indicate when a practitioner should have a focused review. Sixty percent said that their medical staff didn't look into all performance deviations. In addition, more than 55 percent said their organization had no valid and reliable performance data maintained on all practitioners.

"What these results show is that one year after the Joint Commission redefined and broadened the role of peer review, hospitals are still struggling with understanding how this change impacts their patient safety and continuous quality improvement programs," said Dr. Freedman. "The AllMed scorecard is a snapshot of how well they are managing this paradigm shift. And it's showing that there's still a long way to go."

Scorecard Provides Insights

AllMed developed the Peer Review Scorecard to help hospital medical staff, quality professionals and peer reviewers perform a self-assessment of their peer review environment and identify areas for improvement. By rating each question between one (strongly disagree) and five (strongly agree), hospital staff can quickly assess their organization's peer review health and pinpoint areas needing attention. Copies of the Peer Review Scorecard are available for downloading at http://www.allmedmd.com/resources/downloads/peerreview_scorecard.htm. A webinar entitled "Get Your Hospital Peer Review Act Together" provides insights on how to address issues uncovered in the scorecard and can be viewed at https://www110.livemeeting.com/cc/corvent/view?id=PeerReview030608&pw=view. Hospitals looking for help improving their peer review environment, or wanting to conduct external peer reviews, can contact AllMed by calling 1-888-289-6015 or visit the Website at http://www.allmedmd.com/services/hospitalpeerreview.htm for more information.

About AllMed Healthcare Management

Founded in 1995, AllMed is a URAC-accredited independent review organization (IRO) serving leading hospital groups, ambulatory surgery centers and insurance payers, nationwide. AllMed's evidence-based external peer reviews are conducted by board-certified physicians in active practice. Its growing client base includes leading hospital organizations such as HCA, Tenet Healthcare, Ascension Health and many others. AllMed partners with leading healthcare quality improvement consultants, training organizations and law firms to deliver complete peer review improvement solutions. More information about AllMed can be found on the company's Web site at http://www.allmedmd.com.


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SOURCE AllMed Healthcare Management
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