by Kate Alfano, CMS Communications Coordinator
Featured in the January/February 2019 Colorado Medicine.
The Colorado Professional Review Act is up for renewal in 2019. The Colorado Medical Society urges legislators to renew the Colorado Professional Review Act.
In July, the CMS Board of Directors created a special, one-time Work Group on Professional Review/Medical Practices Act Sunset to help guide the society in our advocacy in the 2019 Colorado General Assembly. The physicians, all with deep experience in peer review, quickly got to work, reviewing the sunset legislation released by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), discussing in depth what will be needed for the 2019 legislature, and collecting stories by physicians that relate the importance and power of the professional review process to improve care. They will meet throughout the session to continue to monitor the issue and take necessary action.
“The Colorado Medical Society’s work on the Peer Review Sunset legislation is critical as we are trying to maintain the integrity of the Peer Review process to improve systems of care to protect patients from harm,” said work group member Adam Koszowski, MD, an anesthesiologist in Denver.
“Lessons from high-reliability enterprises, such as the airline and automotive industries, demonstrate the importance of a protected and non-retaliatory environment to create a culture of safety that encourages self-reporting of near-misses and errors. These self-reported errors permit Peer Review committees to educate physicians and modify systems of care to prevent future near-misses and patient harm. If the Peer Review protections sunset and trial lawyers have access to previously protected Peer Review information, then the current culture of safety will erode, self-reporting will decrease, and hospitals will become a less safe place for patients.”