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Peer review of medical practices: missed opportunities to learn.

Kadar, Nicholas.
Am J Obstet Gynecol; 211(6): 596-601, 2014 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Ago 2014 | ID: mdl-25151185
Resumo: Appropriately conducted peer review of medical practices provides the greatest opportunity for health care professionals to learn from their mistakes and improve the quality and safety of health care. But in practice, peer review has not been an effective learning tool because it is subjective and irreproducible. Physicians reviewing the same cases disagree over the cause(s) of adverse outcomes and the quality and appropriateness of care, and agreement is not improved by training, use of objective review criteria, or having the reviewers discuss the cases. The underlying reason is a general lack of understanding and an oversimplified view of the causes of medical errors in complex, high-risk organization and a preoccupation with attributing medical errors to particular individuals. This approach leads to judgments, not understanding, and creates a culture of blame that stops learning and undermines the potential for improvement. For peer review to have an impact on the quality of care and patient safety, it must be standardized to remove cognitive biases and subjectivity from the process.