The American Academy of Family Physicians supports effective peer review as an essential part of assuring the quality of patient care. Family physicians should be leaders in this process.
Family physicians are encouraged to actively participate in peer review programs to ensure the use of high quality, patient oriented, evidenced-based care sensitive to community needs, culture, and practices. Peer review should be performed by a physician with similar qualifications to those of the physician being reviewed. Family physician participation allows appropriate peer review for other family physicians.
The end product of peer review should be improvement of patient care through physician education and health system improvement. The conduct and process of peer review should seek to identify potential systematic improvements that the organization could implement to reduce the chances of mistakes or adverse events in the future.
In the public interest, peer review by medical staffs, medical societies, medical groups, health plans, and other entities should be confidential, protected, and not subject to disclosure or discovery, but the evidence and clinical decision making used in developing peer review decisions should be transparent and open to scrutiny. There should be the opportunity to provide further information and rebuttal to peer review outcomes. (1988) (January 2022 COD)