Legal Review and Compliance

All NPRC Reports are subject to a legal review by NPRC’s attorneys prior to being delivered to the hospital.

NPRC’s legal review ensures that the hospital receives a clear, comprehensive Report that avoids potential legal defects that can contaminate a professional review action.

This initial legal review by NPRC is not a substitute for hospital counsel and NPRC recommends obtaining legal advice early in the peer review process. Engaging legal counsel with knowledge of the peer review process is an essential first step in helping the hospital and medical staff avoid exposure to liability. Expert legal counsel can assist the hospital in conducting peer review in accordance with the Health Quality Improvement Act and other applicable laws and hospital governing documents, resolving any contradictory provisions and implementing appropriate procedural safeguards to protect the rights of all peer review participants.

Although most peer review activities are routine and handled without reaching the hearing stage or proceeding to litigation, every hospital should consider the possibility that a hearing and/or litigation will result and that the hospital will be required to defend its peer review action or inaction. In many instances, a poor external peer review report becomes an intractable part of the records before legal counsel is involved. At that point, it may be too late to remedy any legal defects in the report. Hospital decision-makers can be assured, from the onset, that the action being reviewed, not errors in the peer review report, remains the focus of the peer review.

See also:

Hospital Peer Review Guide II: An Effective Peer Review Report