I acknowledge my biases…my law firm represents the victims of medical negligence. But I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I heard about the Sammelweis Society International!
First, let me explain a little about the operation of hospitals in America. Before a doctor may admit and treat patients at the local hospital, he/she must make application for staff privileges and submit proof of education, training, and experience in a chosen area of medicine – surgery, internal medicine, infectious diseases, etc. If granted staff privileges, the doctor may admit and treat patients in that hospital. However, the hospital has a Quality Assurance Committee and a Peer Review Committee. Both of these committees are charged with investigating “medical misadventures” or bad outcomes to determine if appropriate medical care has been provided to the patient. If these oversight committees, composed of other trained and experienced doctors, determine that the bad outcome was the result of substandard care then they may chose to reprimand the doctor involved or require that doctor to attend additional medical training in their chosen field in order to avoid future patient injury or death.
This is where the Sammelweis Society International comes into play. This organization, again composed of physicians, believes that Peer Review is a bad thing! That’s right… this group wants hospitals to stop reviewing those negative patient outcomes in the hospital’s quest to determine if there are problems with the involved physician.
If this were not so outrageous it would be funny!