Nursing

Ask the expert: Understanding peer review protection laws

Nurse Leader Insider, January 25, 2010

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This week, Laura Cook Harrington, RN, MHA, CPHQ, CHCQM, discusses the peer review process and the varying legal aspects protecting peer review information.

 

Q: I am beginning to develop a peer review process on my unit, but am concerned about the legal aspect and if there are any laws protecting the information.

A: When contemplating establishing a peer review process, many facilities worry about the legal and confidential aspects. Is peer review protected? If nurse reviewers discuss a case, could they find themselves in court giving evidence if a plaintiff decides to sue? These are all valid concerns and must be addressed before the process is begun.

There are two types of peer review protection laws:

  • Those granting immunity from lawsuits to persons and institutions
  • Those declaring peer review work products to be privileged and inadmissible in court

To read more on the laws protecting information in the peer review process, click here.

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