At the core of a successful medical staff is an effective peer review process. We work hard to help our clients make those processes successful on several levels:
First, having good bylaws and policies that specifically define objective peer review processes and avoid any perception of a witch hunt or a hijacking by an overzealous leader is a critical starting place; we put our clients in that place.
Next, a successful process requires intense efforts to build in confidentiality and liability protections. We help our clients do this, and we use every state and federal law possible to minimize the potential of anyone abusing the efforts of those involved in litigation or another context. In fact, in our home state (Michigan), our firm has done more to preserve and expand these protections in the legislature and courts.
We also provide informative advice on how the process can maintain its objectivity. Often this involves the firm assisting in finding capable outside reviewers from our extensive knowledge of and acquaintance with leading practitioners and peer review organizations, and working with the medical staff to set up fair criteria for review (e.g., blending of cases of concern with random cases when warranted).
Then, if the findings indicate there is a problem to resolve, we work with clients to find effective solutions that emphasize rehabilitation rather than punishment, and, when possible, minimize the need for reporting to outside agencies. Typically, we use a memorandum-of-understanding approach with stiff sanctions for non-cooperation or violations. When behavior or substance abuse is the issue, our role characteristically involves helping our clients establish expectations and/or find suitable programs for behavior modification and rehabilitation.
In the few situations where well-managed processes fail, we are ready for the next step--hearings, appeals, and potentially litigation.